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IECRC Youth Discussion Forum (YDF)*: Sports

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Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

As-salam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuhu!

SPORTS!  What is sports? – Sports are different kinds of activities we do in order to stay fit and healthy. Sports these days are the pleasures people prefer to indulge in. People play different sports such as basket-ball, badminton and so forth to maintain their health status and do activities such as aerobics and gymnastics, to stay fit. All of these come under the sports of everyday life or in other terms, activities of everyday life.

Allah The Exalted has given guidance for everything in life. Even Sports! People usually think that things which are not mentioned in the Qur’an are of no importance and we should avoid them. Even though sports is not mentioned in the Qur’an, The Holy Qur’an clearly gives the basic principles of playing sports in Islam. When a Muslim plays sports or indulges himself in certain activities, he should keep in mind that he is bound by the principles of ISLAM. These include basic principles like:

• Firstly, Cleanliness: Not only in sports but also in general, hygiene is a very important factor one should keep in mind while doing anything, sports in particular. We should wear clean clothes and have the proper equipment for playing the sport.

• Secondly, No Cheating: This is also among the most important factors, where the person playing should have a clear and clean mind. He should be fair in his actions and prevent malpractices which may harm his fellow opponents.

• Thirdly, No Violence: Even though we try as hard as we can to avoid fouls during a game, we never succeed. Everyone makes mistakes. Having an open mind is very important so that we can think through the situation in a fair manner. We can do this by avoiding being very aggressive and try to co-operate with the fellow mates.

• Fourthly, No Addiction: Obsession! Addiction! These days the minds of young kids have become violent due to their obsession for sports, may it be indoor or outdoor sports. In outdoor sports, we have certain sports like cricket, football and so forth which are the main addictions to the minds of teen boys. In indoor sports, the latest source of obsession for every kid is the PLAY STATION. When the kids get their hands on the gaming controller, they forget about food, parents, manners  and their responsibilities. They try to postpone their work just so they can catch a few minutes of pleasure. Addiction to anything is strictly forbidden in the Holy  Qur’an and sports is no exception.

In addition to the principles described above, there is one more important rule which every Muslim should follow without any excuse:

MODESTY: This rule applies to both men and women. In the case of men, they must cover between the naval and knees. In the case of women, they are to wear loose clothes which do not show the shape of their bodies. Their hands, legs and head should be covered. Let us take the example of a popular sport, Wrestling. In this sport, we see people who have a bad sense of clothing, in other terms wearing almost nothing. It is not only haraam for them to wear such clothes but it is also a sin on our part to watch them in these vulgar clothes.

Before we move ahead with this topic, I’d like to bring another important aspect to your attention. Did you know that all actions we perform in our day-to-day life fall into five different categories which are described as below:

1) Fardh (obligatory) – All actions which fall in this category are made necessary for us to follow. They are therefore, ‘fardh’ and  we will be punished if we don’t perform them sincerely. Eg: Salat (5 times a day), Fast (in the Holy  Month of Ramadan)

2) Mandub (recommended) – In this category if you do the particular action which is mandub, then you will get its reward but if you don’t do it then you will not get a gunaah (sin). Eg: In Dhuhr prayer, we have 4 cycles of sunnah prayers, 4 cycles of fardh prayers and 2 cycles of sunnah prayers which are all necessary for us to pray. But we also have the 2 cycles of nafl prayers which if prayed will get us a reward and if not prayed won’t get us any gunaah.

3) Mubah (neutral) – In this category are actions which do not have any inherent reward or sin – it depends on our intention. Eg: Suppose you wear a red shirt gifted by your mother without thinking about it. In this case you will not get any reward or sin. However if you wear it with the intention to make your Mom happy, then this action will get you a reward. Most sports would fall into this category except for three which will be mentioned in a Hadeeth below. If the sport is played for a good intention while keeping within all the bounds of the Shari’ah (Islamic law), it can get us a reward and if played for a bad reason or by breaking the rules of Islam, can even get us a sin.

4) Makrooh (disliked) – These actions are disliked by Allah Almighty. However we won’t be punished if we do them but if we avoid them then Allah Almighty will reward us. Eg: We should always pray salat on time. If we are free and wasting our time, leaving namaz for the last minute, it is definitely Makrooh.

5) Haram (forbidden) – The name says it all. The  actions which fall in this category, are strictly forbidden by Allah and by doing this we will be punished no doubt! Eg: Drinking alcohol, immodesty etc.

Let us now talk about the advantages of sports in Islam.

–> It helps to develop the health status of a person. By playing sports, we can stay fit and healthy and can avoid certain illnesses such as obesity.

–> It allows people to interact with each other, with sports being a medium of interaction.

–> Team sports such as cricket, develops important qualities such as leadership, team co-operation and better understanding among fellow mates.

–> Acting and singing (recitation) can also be good activities depending on our intention. But then again it depends on how we see them. If we use our singing (recitation) to improve our vocals and sing (recite) hymns in the praise of Allah ALMIGHTY and poems to praise Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam we would get numerous thawaab or rewards. Similarly if we are acting in role plays or theater the purpose of which is to convey important messages to benefit society then this can be a good act also.

Sports can become a good deed if we remove all the bad things such as cheating, violence, addiction etc. It can also become a good deed if we are doing it for a specific reason such as to stay fit or for a charity. It should not be solely for our own pleasure and purpose. Any sport or activity which becomes an addiction is not good and strictly forbidden in the rules of Islam.

Islam is the most pure religion. Where ever it goes, it purifies it. It decides the actions we do are good or bad. It makes us think whether these actions would harm us or be of any good to us. In short, the main objective of Islam, irrespective of any topic, is to remove the bad and add the good. We should therefore, indulge in good healthy sports but not for the pleasure of it but for the benefit of it to keep us healthy. There are many sports which are excellent examples of good healthy sports such as swimming, squash etc. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advised to be involved in three sports: swimming, archery and horseback riding. Swimming is the best exercise because it involves just about every muscle in the body. Archery teaches us precision. Horseback riding makes us sensitive to response because horses are very sensitive to the feelings of its rider. So participating in these sports would actually fall in the category of Mandub as described above.

We should all try to stay fit and healthy by playing the above mentioned  sports by having a good intention of it benefitting us. As the Bukhari Shareef’s  Hadeeth states, “Innamal A’amaalu bin Niyyaat” – Every action depends on its intention.

Thank You!

Sadiya Riaz Shaikh, Kingdom of Bahrain

Sadiya Riaz Shaikh is an active youth participant of IECRC Bahrain. She is the daughter of Mrs. Zarine and Mr. Riaz Shaikh who have contributed greatly to the development of IECRC work in Bahrain.

* YDF (Youth Discussion Forum) is an IECRC effort initiated in the Kingdom of Bahrain in order to engage Muslim youth in thoughtful and vibrant discussions on topics that are of interest to THEM. All too often youth are exposed to Islam in a one directional manner as a dry set of do’s and don’ts failing to reveal its rich intellectual heritage and spiritual depth and beauty. Through these discussions on topics chosen by the youth themselves, the goal of the YDF is three fold:

  1. To make youth realize that there is no topic that can be separated from the holistic principles and balanced values of Islam, whether it is the internet, music or movies; that Islam guides every area of life beyond praying, fasting and reading the Holy Quran.
  2. To break the stereotype that Islam is a dry set of do’s and don’ts and that on the contrary it is a vast and vibrant religion with a rich historical heritage which encourages intellectual discussions, not for the sake of polemics but for the sake of Allah and His Beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family and companions.)
  3. To break the stereotype that Islam doesn’t care about how you feel about things. On the contrary Islam is very sensitive to human emotions and provides practical tools to channel it in a productive way thereby nurturing the spirit.

Written by iecrc

August 12, 2012 at 5:30 pm

IECRC Youth Discussion Forum (YDF)*: The Internet

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Topic Suggested by: Faiz Zain (age 15 yrs), Kingdom of Bahrain

Discussion Script by: Saheeba Shaikh (age 20 yrs), Kingdom of Bahrain

Introduction

The history  of the Internet starts  in the 1950s and 1960s as a global system of interconnected computer networks. The internet has changed our way of life. It is like a revolution that changed  the map of the world. As we know, Islam is a way of life. There is no topic  that is not related to Islam. Islam is often mistaken as a rigid religion. In  fact Islam is very wide, it is not rigid, and it only purifies the culture,  practices and other things through its principles for the betterment of all humanity. To understand the link between Internet and Islam, let us first understand what the sources of Information in Islam are. There are 2 types of sources
viz. Primary and Secondary. Primary sources are the Glorious Holy Quran and the Blessed Prophetic Hadeeth. The secondary sources are Ijma (Consensus-opinion of majority of Scholars) and Qiyas (Analogy-to apply a known  injunction to a new circumstance and create a new injunction). Now, since the internet has evolved only half a decade ago, any exact verse in the Quran or the Hadeeth has not been provided. Although Islam may not have talked about the Internet specifically, it has talked about the universal principles that govern the use of the internet. Thus we have to apply Qiyas in order to evaluate the internet in the light of Islam.

Internet as a Means of  Communication

What is the internet? It is basically a network connecting different devices for the purpose of communication. Thus, we know the main essence of internet is communication. There are many Hadeeth that provide us the guidelines as to how we should communicate with others. The main guidelines as told by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) are:

Whenever you speak, only speak the truth:

Narrated ‘Abdullah radi Allahu anhu:

The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fajur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fajur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar.” (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, number 116)

Narrated Samura bin Jundub radi Allahu anhu:

The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “I saw (in a dream), two men came to me.” Then the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) narrated the story (saying), “They said, ‘The person, the one whose cheek you saw being torn away (from the mouth to the ear) was a liar and used to tell lies and the people would report those lies on his authority till they spread all over the world. So he will be punished like that till the Day of Resurrection.”‘ (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 118)

Thus we know that, we must always abstain from telling lies even on the internet, like updating a Facebook status which is a lie, Tweeting a false statement or even e-mailing someone a lie.

Do not Backbite and slander and spy others :

“O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear God, verily, God is the One who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.” (Holy Quran Al-Hujurat 49: 12)

 Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Do you know what backbiting is?” They said, “God and His Messenger know best.” He then said, “It is to say something about your brother that he would dislike.” Someone asked him, “But what if what I say is true?” The Messenger of God (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “If what you say about him is true, you are backbiting him, but if it is not true then you have slandered him.” (Muslim)

Thus we must refrain ourselves from any kind of backbiting, slander or even spying on the internet. We must not hack into others’ accounts or publish someone else’s private information without their permission. We must also not access some else’s account if they forget to sign out. We must also refrain from any vain, unnecessary talk like gossiping. If a group is indulged in such talk we must leave the group. Same applies to the internet.

Internet as a Source of Information

The second aspect of internet is that it serves as a source of information. We must first understand the difference between Data, Information and Knowledge.  Data are raw facts. E.g.: The letter “A”. As a single letter it doesn’t tell us much. However when combined with other letters and processed into a word such as “A”pple, it then becomes information, because the world “Apple” gives us the information that it is a fruit, its color may be red etc. Information therefore is processed data. Knowledge on the other hand is Light, it shows you the way, and is beneficial guidance. E.g.: An apple a day, keeps a doctor away. True knowledge will always benefit you. Internet can only be considered as a source of information and not a source of knowledge, i.e. guidance. We can get a world of information from the internet but not all of it may be correct. Therefore, we cannot consider it an authoritative source of knowledge because the internet can also be misguiding. The only true sources of guidance are the teachers and scholars who have the insight to process the information into knowledge which truly benefits. Nothing can replace a teacher. In the Islamic context, Information available on the internet cannot be considered superior to knowledge of the Ahle-dhikr (the People of Remembrance, i.e. the pious scholars.) As a matter of fact, the Holy Quran commands us to turn to the Ahle-Dhikr when we want knowledge:

 “…Ask the People of Remembrance, if you do not know.” (Holy Quran Al-Ambiya 21:7, An-Nahl 16:43)

We may gain much information from the internet but to say that we have the knowledge of Islam more than the learned scholars because we have read it on the internet is absolutely wrong. Apart from this, when we pass on the information to others on the internet, we must also make sure the information we pass is true and authentic. We should not blindly forward emails to others without checking its authenticity.

Internet as a Means of Da’wah (Invitation)

The third and the final aspect of the internet is that it is a means of Da’wah, i.e. inviting others to Islam in the best way. As we know internet is amongst the fastest ways to communicate to a large number of people at a time, we can use it to our advantage and gain much reward (sawab.)

“Invite to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided.” (Holy Qur’an, An-Nahl 16:125)

Thus we know the importance of Da’wah in Islam. We must all utilize the internet as a tool to teach and inform others about the truth of Islam especially given the many negative stereotypes that have become prevalent these days.

Conclusion:

  • We can use the technique of Qiyas (Analogy) to relate Islam and Internet;
  • The main Guidelines to follow when using internet as a tool to communicate are: Always speak the truth; Never Backbite, Slander or Gossip; Respect each other’s privacy;
  • We must take care while we use the internet as a source of information. We must not rely on it as an authoritative source of guiding knowledge – this can only come from the pious scholars;
  • We must use internet as a tool to do Da’wah;

Saheeba Shaikh
(age 20 yrs), Kingdom of Bahrain

 

* YDF (Youth Discussion Forum) is an IECRC effort initiated in the Kingdom of Bahrain in order to engage Muslim youth in thoughtful and vibrant discussions on topics that are of interest to THEM. All too often youth are exposed to Islam in a one directional manner as a dry set of do’s and don’ts failing to reveal its rich intellectual heritage and spiritual depth and beauty. Through these discussions on topics chosen by the youth themselves, the goal of the YDF is three fold:

  1. To make youth realize that there is no topic that can be separated from the holistic principles and balanced values of Islam, whether it is the internet, music or movies; that Islam guides every area of life beyond praying, fasting and reading the Holy Quran.
  2. To break the stereotype that Islam is a dry set of do’s and don’ts and that on the contrary it is a vast and vibrant religion with a rich historical heritage which encourages intellectual discussions, not for the sake of polemics but for the sake of Allah and His Beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family and companions.)
  3. To break the stereotype that Islam doesn’t care about how you feel about things. On the contrary Islam is very sensitive to human emotions and provides practical tools to channel it in a productive way thereby nurturing the spirit.

Written by Shagufta Ahmad

September 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm