Today, the world cannot live without football.
A German consulting company “Sportfive” did research in Europe to find out the number of people interested in football. The research was carried out in the leading football countries of Europe. The results were as follows:
- Germany – 81% are interested in football (which constitutes 53 million people)
- Italy – 78%
- Spain – 67%
- England – 63%
- France – 60%
The numbers in other countries were very similar. Interest in football has also reached the Muslim countries and Muslims all over the world.
For football players
For practicing Muslims, Islam is not only a religion but a way of life. Generally, it is not forbidden in Islam to play football, as long as the following requirements are met:
(1) During the game, the Aurah (parts of the body that are forbidden for others to see; in the case of men, it is the part of body between the navel and knees) of the players has to be covered.
(2) Under no conditions during the game or in preparations for the game should the players miss their five obligatory players (Salah). Interest in football should not distract them from remembering the Most High or turn into them into fanatics of the game. Likewise, watching the game should not prevent people from performing their mandatory prayers.
(3) Sometimes the dates of significant football events fall in Ramadan, the month of obligatory fasting. Football, however, requires extensive physical exertion. In this situation, no matter how important the game is, Muslim players do not have the right to leave their fasting.
(4) Very rarely does a game go by without any physical trauma for the players. Sometimes, players intentionally do actions against their opponents, which cause them injuries. Such actions are also forbidden in Islam. Purposeful hurting of another person has to be compensated!
(5) Fights, filthy language, and arguments should not be a part of the game.
(6) Islam totally forbids any unjust judging during the football game, as well as in any other types of sports.
(7) Simulation as a form of deceit is forbidden.
(8) Every game has winners and losers. As is well known, in football, there are no absolute winners, as the winner of today can become a loser tomorrow. Thus, it is forbidden to hate other players just because they win. If you win, thank the Creator for your success; if you lose, once again thank God that you did not lose with an even worse and more humiliating score.
All of the above applies to football players. Likewise, some conditions or requirements have to be met by fans of football.
For football fans
Nobody is forbidden from liking a particular football team and wishing for their success. However, some actions of so-called fans do cross all the borders of what is acceptable. To view the games of their favourite teams, such fans gather in crowds in front of TV, considering consumption of alcohol (especially beer) a must.
Both in stadiums and before TV screens, the viewing of the games is accompanied by a very tense atmosphere. One may get the feeling that people have all of a sudden forgotten any civilized way of conversing, switching entirely to the use of foul language. And most of it is directed towards the judges and the goal keepers. Children who watch how their fathers express feelings for the game make their own conclusions, which often leave a lasting mark on this new generation.
Often, after their favourite team has lost the game, drunk fans head out to take revenge on their opponents, which ends in ruthless fights, destruction of property, and burning of cars. In most extreme cases, there are even human victims. Needless to say, all such actions of fans are forbidden.
Football – Without harming the worship!
Love for a football team or any of the players should not surpass our love for Prophet Muhammad (sa), his companions, and scholars of Islam. The Prophet (sa) said: “None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children, and all humankind.” (Bukhari)
If you ask Muslims who have exceeding love for football what they know about the life of Prophet Muhammad (sa) and his family, about other prophets of Allah (swt), about the companions or about contemporary scholars of Islam, a significant part of these fans know nearly nothing about these great personalities of human history! However, they do know the minutest details of the life of their favourite football stars. Photos of these stars adorn the walls of their homes. These fans may not know the basics of Islamic history but they do know the smallest details of the football championships: who played when and with whom, who scored how many goals, and on which minute with the pass of whom those goals were scored.
Children and football
Children are most affected by the illness of football. It is good if they are playing football on the street or on the field with their friends; however, nowadays, instead of enjoying the game out in the open, many kids prefer to hit the ball on computer screens. Sometimes, this love for football in kids dominates over any other their interests, and if their favourite team loses, they may be found in great distress. Parents, of course, have to follow the interests of their children and make sure that they know more about Islam than about football and football stars.
Football is a good sport, if you do not make sins out of it. A very common phenomenon nowadays in society is betting on games. During important football championships, the betting offices are overcrowded with fans, wishing to bet on their favourite teams. All of this is part of gambling and thus forbidden in Islam! Shariah forbids such gambling bets. This restriction of betting applies not only to football but to all other sports as well. All that is forbidden is clearly outlined for us; it is up to us to make the right choices and follow the straight path!
For players of football, the game is a source of good health. According to a Hadeeth of Prophet Muhammad (sa): “The stronger believer is better and more beloved to Allah (swt) than the weaker believer, although both are good. (…)” (Ibn Majah) However, every Muslim must remember that this world is not everlasting, and any time we waste cannot be returned. Sports, studies, and all other activities should be directed towards developing our personality. Likewise, in our discussed situations regarding football, we should line up our life and efforts according to the teachings of Islam.
Translated for Hiba magazine by Laila Brence. Source: www.islam.ru