Boxing Is Forbidden Even without Striking the Face
Fatwa No: 429082

Question

Assalamu'alaikum IslamwebI have a question for you. What is the ruling on:1. Practicing boxing, but without hitting the face2. Going to the gym where there may be music played, but at certain hours where music is not played

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The Sharee‘ah violations that boxing involves are not limited to striking the opponent’s face, although it is the most emphasized prohibition in this sport, but also include striking any part of the body and the accompanying violence. Striking people without a Sharee‘ah-acceptable reason is impermissible even if not in the face. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "A Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the people are safe, and a believer is the one from whom the people’s lives and wealth are safe." [Al-Bukhaari, Muslim, An-Nasaa’i. This is the wording of An-Nasaa’i]

It is impermissible to strike someone in the stomach, chest, or any other part of the body under the pretext of playing and practicing sports. However, if it is merely wrestling without any striking, there is nothing wrong with that. It was narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, wrestled with Rukaanah and defeated him.

As for going to the gym, if you already know that you will go at a time when there will be no prohibitions being committed therein, there is nothing wrong with going there. However, if you know from the outset that you will hear or see what is forbidden in the gym, it is impermissible to go except with the intention of forbidding such prohibitions. If you do not know of such prohibitions ahead, found out about them after arriving there, and you saw them being committed, it is incumbent on you to forbid such prohibitions. If the prohibitions are eliminated (by forbidding them), all praise be to Allah; otherwise, it is incumbent on you to leave the place because leaving a place where prohibitions are being committed is obligatory when one is able to do so if the prohibition is not eliminated.

Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Majmoo‘ Al-Fataawa: “It is impermissible for anyone to willingly attend the gatherings where sins are committed for no necessity.” [End of quote]

Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means): {And it has already come down to you in the Book that when you hear the verses of Allah [recited], they are denied [by them] and ridiculed; so do not sit with them until they enter into another conversation. Indeed, you would then be like them.} [Quran 4:140] In his commentary on this verse, Imaam Al-Qurtubi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, underlining the necessity to leave the place where a sin is being committed: “If he cannot forbid them (from committing the sin), he should leave the place where they are sitting so that he would not be included among the people who are mentioned in this verse...” [End of quote]

For more benefit on the prohibition of boxing, please refer to Fataawa 329518 and 83261.

Also, for more benefit on leaving a place where evil is committed or expected, please refer to Fataawa 339646, 369583, 408970, and 343228.

Allah Knows best.

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