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Ruling on Wrestling

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Daruliftaa.com

Any contacts sports that causes harm to another is not permissible, I understand this fatwa and its reason. I have a cousin who is obsessed with these types of sports especially physical contacts sports. If I showed him this fatwa he would argue that the sahaba used to wrestle (as well as that the prophet himself wrestled and was defeated – hadith).

Wrestling is a contact sport that can cause physical harm, the type my cousin does is aggressive a bit like judo wrestling or some sort, brothers throw each other on the floor uses various wrists locks, and submission moves until one surrenders etc.

I find it quite violent, aggressive and people get injured, but the brother says all the time the sahaba use to wrestle thinking, based on this he thinks its all good.

It’s a know fact that the prophet and the sahaba wrestled, and wrestling is mubah. But this conflict with the fatwa that contacts sports that cause injury are not permissible.

Wrestling is a contact sport and aggressive that can cause injury. I am confused on this issue please explain.


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

It is true that taking part in sports that are very aggressive, in that there is a high risk of the participants being injured or harmed, are disapproved. If sustaining injuries is very common, then the game would not be permissible. This is due to the many evidences found in the Qur’an and Sunnah prohibiting causing harm to one’s self or another person.

At the same time, it is an established fact that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and his companions (Allah be pleased with them all) took part in wrestling.

Now, the way to reconcile between these two apparently contradicting aspects is that, wrestling will be permissible (rather recommended) if the intention is to gain physical exercise and that it is not played in an aggressive manner.

One must be cautious that it is not played too aggressively or offensively. One must avoid striking the face and head, for that is not permitted. Taking part in wrestling in a way that would cause harm and injury to the participants would not be allowed. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and his companions took part in wrestling but it was not played in an aggressive manner that which we are accustomed to today.

Similarly, to have fighting bouts with each other for the sole reason of entertainment would also be disapproved. The Sahaba wrestled with the intention of preparing for Jihad.

In conclusion, there are two conditions for the permissibility of wrestling:

1) It is not played in an aggressive and violent manner,

2) The intention is gaining strength, physical exercise and preparing one’s self for Jihad.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

This answer was collected from Daruliftaa.com, which is headed by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam Al-Kawthari. He’s based in the United Kingdom.

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