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The Olympic Games – A Symbol of Shirk


By ibn Ahmad

Allāh Ta’ālā in Qur’ān Kareem says:

Verily Allāh does not forgive that Shirk be committed, but may forgives all (sins) besides this for whom He wills. Whoever commits Shirk has indeed invented a terrible sin. Surāh an-Nisā, verse 48


It is very disturbing to see Muslim countries participating in an event like the Olympic Games. It seems most of us do not know why the Olympic Games are held in the first place.

Here are the historical facts behind the advent of the Olympic Games. After reading these facts a true Muslim will realise that for the sake of safeguarding our Imān it is better not to attend this event either as participants or as spectators:

‘The Olympic Games, which originated in ancient Greece as many as 3,000 years ago, were revived in the late 19th century and have become the world’s preeminent sporting competition. From the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D., the Games were held every four years in Olympia, located in the western Peloponnese peninsula, in honour of the god Zeus. (Nauzubillāh).

Ref: http://www.history.com/topics/olympic-games


Zeus…was the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who ruled as king of the gods of Mount Olympus (Nauzubillāh)…Zeus was also infamous for his erotic escapades.

Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeus


Yet another source relates the origins of the Olympic Games as follows:

According to historical records, the first ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC. They were dedicated to the Olympian gods (Nauzubillāh) and were staged on the ancient plains of Olympia. They continued for nearly 12 centuries, until Emperor Theodosius (a Roman Emperor) decreed in 393 A.D. that all such “pagan cults” be banned.

Ref: https://www.olympic.org/ancient-olympic-games/history


Then there is the Olympic Flame, the origin of which is given below:

The Olympic flame is a symbol of the Olympic Games.  Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus (Nauzubillah) by Prometheus, its origins lie in ancient Greece, where a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics. The fire was introduced at the 1928 Summer in Amsterdam, and it has been part of the modern Olympic Games ever since…The Olympic Torch today is ignited several months before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games at the site of the ancient Olympics in Olympia, Greece. Eleven women, representing the Vestal Virgins, perform a celebration at the Temple of Hera in which the torch is kindled by the light of the Sun, its rays concentrated by a parabolic mirror.

Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_flame

If Emperor Theodosius, the Roman Emperor who was a Christian, decreed that Olympic Games be banned because it was one of the ‘pagan cults’, then where are the Muslims of today? It is a great shame indeed that we are actually taking delight in participating in the Olympic Games and following the events instead of making any attempts to get it banned. Even the medias in Islāmic countries seem to be ‘for’ the Olympic Games, which is evident from the positive coverage given to the event.

Abu Sa’id Al Khudri Radiyallāhu ‘anhu narrates: I heard Rasūlullāh Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam saying: Anybody amongst you who sees an evil should change it with his hands; If he is unable to do so, then with his tongue; if he is unable to do this (even), then by his heart and this is the weakest form of Imān. (Muslim).

Note: To change it by heart means that one should at least consider it a vice in his heart and should supplicate for its change. Instead of considering it a vice we are taking pride in being part and parcel of the event. By doing so aren’t we indirectly honouring an impostor of rotten character who claimed to possess, of all things, divine powers of the highest degree? (Nauzubillāh).

Any talent, whether intellectual or physical, that Allāh with His infinite Mercy has presented to us should not be used or displayed in the way that might invoke His wrath. This is exactly what is happening in the Olympic Village. While displaying the physical attributes Allah has gifted to some human beings, commands of Allah are candidly violated. Besides being a symbol of shirk, the Olympic Games are also notorious for being the hotbed of sexual activities. The free intermingling can lead to lots of fitnāhs. Then there are the opening and closing ceremonies which are nothing but wanton exposure of human body. As the saying goes, ‘what happens in the village remains in the village only’ and this is very true about the Olympic Village. How can we allow our youth (male or female) to attend such gatherings?

The heads of the Muslim states all over the world should make every attempt to stop their athletes from going to such gatherings which are based on shirk.

May Allah save the Ummāh of Nabi Muhammad Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam from committing shirk of any kind.

…and Allāh Subhānahu wa Ta’ālā Knows Best

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