Posted 25 September 2008 - 04:45 PM
Posted 25 September 2008 - 08:06 PM
Fatwa No. : 87929
Fatwa Title : Women-only physical training classes for Muslims
Fatwa Date : 21 Rabee' Al-Aakhir 1425 / 10-06-2004
We have set up a voluntary organization to help the Muslim women and young girls in physical and educational training. Our aim is to put on women only classes such as karate and aerobics and swimming. However we have been told that we should not encourage women leave their houses and also that there is a fatwa that says women should not take off their outer garment when outside of their homes. Should we have strictly Muslim women only classes? It is our intention to follow the Qu'ran and Sunnah.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.
There is no harm according to Islamic Shariah for a woman to do what will strengthen her mind and body, like physical and mental exercise.
However, this should be according to requirements of Islamic jurisprudence, like being dressed properly, not mixing with men, and not to wasting time, and performing prayers and other obligations.
A married woman should not go out without the permission of her husband.
So there is no harm for her to learn what will protect her body, her honour and protect her religion from cultural and ideological invasions.
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "A strong believer is better and more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, both the weak and the strong believers but cherish that which gives you benefit and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart." [Reported by Muslim]
The questioner stated that it is not permissible for a woman to take her clothes off outside her home. In this regard there is a Hadith which is reported by Abu Dawud that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "When a woman takes off her clothes in a place other than her home, she tears the veil between her and Allah, The Exalted". Al – Albany classified it as a Sahih Hadith.
A woman is ordered to cover herself lest an alien man would see her.
Some of the people of knowledge said that the Hadith applies to a place where she could be seen by an alien man. However, if the woman is in a safe and secure place or alone, then it is desirable for her to cover the Awrah. This is the opinion of the Maliki school of thought and those who agree with their opinion.
In Manh Al – Jalil Sharh Mukhtasar Khaleel, which is a Maliki book, it is stated: "It is desirable for a man or a woman who is not praying to cover their Awrah, meaning their private parts and the parts near the Awrah be it of a man or woman, and it is disliked to reveal the private parts for no reason when being alone. But it is permissible to reveal what is beyond Awrah when being alone. This is what is relied upon."
Therefore, it is permissible for a woman to practice sports if this is in a safe and sealed area which is far from the access of men, but she has to cover the Awrah from other woman, and if she covers the whole body, then that is better
Allah knows best.
Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb
Posted 25 September 2008 - 08:14 PM
What is the ruling on playing karate?
Praise be to Allaah.
Karate is one of the martial arts, a form of self-defence using one’s hands, without any kind of weapon. It allows hitting with the foot, fist or edge of the hand, focusing on concentrating all one's energy in that blow.
The shar’i viewpoint of this sport:
The sport includes numerous physical, psychological and mental benefits, and it is in accordance with sharee’ah in some ways, and goes against it in others. Among the ways in which it is in accordance with Islam are:
The concealing garments which cover all the ‘awrah completely. The rules of this sport require wearing covering garments composed of a shirt of thick white cotton, and trousers made of the same material, which have to be wide to allow movement of the legs and feet.
Combatants are forbidden to direct blows that will cause harm to their opponents. The rules of the game dictate that attacks must be restrained, and must not cause harm to one's opponent, unlike the rules of boxing, for example.
But on the other hand this sport is not free of things that go against sharee’ah, such as allowing blows to the face.
In addition, it includes some religious rituals that are derived from local Indian religions, such as the exchange of greetings between the combatants, which take the form of bows that are similar to rukoo’ (the Muslim does not bow to anyone except Allaah), and the exercises such as keeping silent and focusing or meditating, which are derived from the religious rituals of Buddhism, etc. All of these are totally rejected by Islam.
But it is not forbidden to practise this sport once these issues have been eliminated. It is possible to eliminate them on an unofficial level, even if it is not possible to do so on an official and international level. It is not essential to learn these skills at the level of championships and clubs which adhere to these matters and view them as an essential part of the sport which everyone who practises it must adhere to.
From Qadaayaa al-Lahw wa’l-Tarfeeh, p. 369
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