Saturday, July 28, 2012

Can Muslim women play sports infront of non-mahrem men?

I submitted this question to Sheikh Ahmed Kutty. While he didn't exactly reply back in a way I wanted, it can be concluded that Muslim women, provided they wear there hijab and clothing that covers the arms and legs, can indeed play sports infront of non-Mahrem men.

At schools some Muslim girls join teams like basketball and volleyball but they do so while wearing the hijab and covering the legs and arms. At these games many non-Mahrem men will watch but I don't think they can get turned on by the hijab wearing girl as opposed to the other girls who wear tight short revealing clothes. Is it okay for the girl to play because many sites like Islam QA say it is completely forbidden for even a hijab wearing woman to play infront of non-Mahrem men.

Prayer is the most important duty we owe to Allah, our Creator and Sustainer, which we must practice at all times and places. As such, no Muslim, whether male or female, can be slack in performing it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked, "what is the action that is most pleasing to Allah," he replied, "to pray at the appointed time."
Therefore, no one should be neglecting his or her prayer even if others are watching. If we were to say that Muslim women are not allowed to pray while non-mahram men are seeing them, then by the same logic, they cannot pray in the holy sanctuaries of Makkah and Madinah since women are always visible and seen by men. The same logic could be applied to men praying while women are watching. Aren't women attracted to men as well? Didn't Allah order both men and women to lower their gazes when facing each other? So, the same rule should apply to both.
We also know from the authentic traditions that there was no partition in the Prophet's mosque and therefore, men and women were praying in the same hall, and they were visible to each other. If it had been wrong for women to pray in the presence of men, then the Prophet (peace be upon him) would have said so clearly. Since he didn't, the original rule of permission remains.
In conclusion, the Muslim women cannot neglect their obligatory prayers under the pretext that they are being seen by non-mahram men.

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