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Is it permissible to support sports teams?

Question:
Is supporting any sports teams or clubs is allowed in Islam?By supporting, I mean like being a diehard fan.

Answer:
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In today’s society, following professional sports and supporting a team has become an obsession and craze. For the vast majority of people, it has become a vital element of life.
In terms of Sharīah, there are many evils associated with following professional sports. The harms are exemplified to a greater degree when one passionately supports a particular team. Some of the evils are listed below:

• Love for one’s team: The love for one’s team becomes entrenched in the heart. This is totally against the temperament of Sharīah. The heart is created by Allāh to entertain only the love of Allāh and His Rasūl Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam. The enrooted love for one’s team deprives him from attaining the recognition and love of Allāh. The love of Qurān and everything associated with Dīn also leaves the heart.

• Mad obsession and distraction: The love for one’s team blinds the diehard fan and supporter from everything else besides sports. Rasūlullāh Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam has stated:

حُبُّكَ الشَّيْءَ يُعْمِي وَيُصِمُّ (سنن ابى داود، بَابٌ فِي الْهَوَى)

The love of something blinds and deafens the lover. (Sunan Abī Dāwūd)

This is extremely detrimental and destructive to one’s Dīn. Many a times, the love of one’s team takes him away from performing Salāh and going to the Masjid, especially when one is engrossed in watching a live match.

• Love for players: When one supports a team, the players become his idols and heroes. He tries to imitate their lifestyle and yearns to be like them. Many a times, these players are Kuffār (disbelievers) and Fussāq (shameless sinners) involved in alcohol, drugs, and women. Imagine the effect on a person whose role-models are sinking in the disobedience of Allāh! A Muslim is one who follows the beautiful teachings of Rasūlullāh Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam and not a player whose actions invite the wrath of Allāh.

• Nationalism: Fans develop a deep love for their national team. As a result, the fans are affected by patriotism. A type of hatred and spite is created for people of other nationalities. The media creates a patriotic atmosphere and induces malice between nations. This type of attitude is totally against Sharīah.

• Music: The love for one’s team drives him to watch his team perform. During the game, loud music is played in support of the national team. Music is poison for the heart. It penetrates the heart and causes hypocrisy to form within.

• Waste of time: One’s valuable and precious time is wasted in following the stats of one’s team and watching one’s team perform. Life is bestowed by Allāh Ta’ālā to utilize in recognizing and obeying Allāh Ta’ālā. There is neither worldly benefit nor religious benefit in supporting a team.

Hence, due to the above-mentioned reasons, it is not allowed for one to support a professional team.

In conclusion, a Muslim is one who develops the love of Allāh within his heart. His living and dying is only for Allāh. He does not waste his time and life in insignificant pursuits such as following professional sports and supporting a team.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Abdul Azīm bin Abdur Rahman,
Student Darul Iftaa
U.S.A.
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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