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Self -Defence

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari

Me and my brother want to take up boxing because things are getting really bad and nearly every day we hear about Muslims being beaten up and we want to take up boxing as a means for self defence but the thing is that someone told us that its haram to do boxing because your hitting someone on their face. Considering this, I still want to take up boxing but I just want to ask you because you have more knowledge about this. Are we allowed to take up boxing if it is for self defence and the protection of your family 7 others?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

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

One of the conditions in order for a sport to be considered Islamically permissible to engage in, is that the sport must not be physically harmful or injurious. As such, a sport that is very aggressive or it is played in a way that undue physical harm is expected to either party, will not be permitted.

Allah Most High says:

“And make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction.” (Surah al-Baqarah, V: 195)

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “An individual should not harm others or be harmed by others in return.” (la dharar wa la dhirar). (Mustadrak al-Hakim, 2/57 and others)

Thus, based on this, to take up the sport of boxing as it is common today can not be deemed permissible. The objective and aim in boxing is to knock out your opponent by physically hitting him on the head or the face- two of the most delicate places in the human body- with force and power. Islam prohibits striking someone on the face, even if it be for a justified reason.

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “If somebody fights (m, due to a lawful reason) then he should avoid the face.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 2420)

The harms of boxing are known to all. Many boxers have sustained serious damages and injuries to their body, whilst some have also perished. Thus, one must avoid taking up this sport (or any other sport that entails serious physical harm).

On the other hand, Islam approves of physical exercise and training. Learning self-defence techniques is very important. However, in order to do this, one must use a means that is lawful and not harmful in any way. Harming another person or yourself for the purpose of training yourself for self-defence will not be permissible.

There are many other ways and means in order to train oneself for self-defence. One should take up methods wherein there is no apparent harm expected, such as semi-contact Karate, semi-contact kung-fu, etc. Also, if boxing is practiced on a punch bag, or martial arts is taken up without having full physical contact and not using excessive force, then this would also be allowed.

And Allah knows best

Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK


This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

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