In a world filled with various sports and recreational activities, the question of permissibility in Islam arises regarding certain practices.
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One such controversial topic is boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) participation. While these sports have gained immense popularity for their intensity and competitiveness, it is crucial to explore whether they align with the principles and teachings of Islam.
This article delves into whether boxing and MMA can be considered permissible (halal) or impermissible (haram) in the context of Islamic principles.
By examining relevant evidence from Islamic teachings, we aim to shed light on this thought-provoking issue and provide a comprehensive understanding of the Islamic perspective on these combat sports.
Boxing and MMA are Haram and not considered permissible in Islam.
- Striking the Face is Prohibited: One such hadith has been transmitted on the authority of Abu Huraira and in the hadith transmitted on the authority of Ibn Hatim Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) is reported to have said: “When any one of you fights with his brother, he should avoid his face for Allah created Adam in His image.”(Sahih Muslim, 2612). This hadith clearly emphasizes the prohibition of striking the face, even in conflicts between individuals. Engaging in sports like boxing and MMA, where striking the face is a fundamental aspect, goes against this prohibition.
- Awrah must be Hidden: The parts of the body which must be covered by both men and women are considered awrah. Regarding the awrah of men, Narrated Abu Az-Zinad: “Ibn Jarhad informed me from his father, that the Prophet (ﷺ) passed by him while his thigh was exposed, so the Prophet (ﷺ) said: ‘Cover your thigh, for indeed it is ‘Awrah.” [Jami Al Tirmidhi 2798]. By participating in boxing and MMA, which often lead to the exposure of the awrah, Muslims would be disregarding the obligation of modesty and the obligation to hide these body parts
- Inflicting Haram is Prohibited: Islam prohibits causing harm to oneself and others. It was narrated from ‘Ubadah bin Samit that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) ruled: “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm” (Sunan Ibn Majah, 2340). Participating in boxing and MMA, which involve high levels of physical aggression and can lead to serious injuries, contradicts the principle of avoiding harm and preserving one’s well-being.
- Health is a gift: Islam places great importance on preserving one’s health. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) praised good health and regarded it as more valuable than wealth. The ayat of Surah Bakarah translates as “And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [by refraining]. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.” [ Surah al Bakarah 2:195]. Engaging in sports that carry a high risk of injury, such as boxing and MMA, jeopardizes one’s health causing harm and goes against the teachings of preserving and maintaining good health.
In light of these pieces of evidence, it is evident that boxing and MMA, due to their involvement in striking the face, exposure of the awrah, and potential for harm, are not considered permissible in Islam.
Thus it is better for Muslims to seek out for the sports that not only promote physical health but play an important role in character development while being consistent with Islamic teachings. As an individual Muslim one must adhere to the guidelines set by Islam while upholding the principles of Islam. May Allah guide us all to a good path.
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