Can I Wear Short Shorts and Soccer Jerseys Supporting International Clubs?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question 

Is it permissible to wear international football clubs’ jerseys? Is it permissible to play football in a place where men wear shorts (revealing their thighs)? Women are also present (but do not mix with our team). Could I follow an opinion wherein some scholars hold that the thigh is not ‘awra (nakedness)?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to that which is pleasing to Him. Amin.

If the jerseys do not promote prohibited symbols, advertisements, or pictures, they would be permissible to wear. Though the clothing closer to the Sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would be much better and blessed for you, and Allah knows best.

You are responsible for your actions and to the extent of your direct influence on others. Make sure to cover your own ‘awra, and you will not be accountable for the other men who don’t.

As Muslims (submitters to Allah), we submit to Allah’s Sacred Law after we learn what it states. We should never seek to validate a preconceived opinion or understanding by searching for opinions that we think would espouse our preconceived notions, this is inappropriate, and Allah knows best.

The ‘Awra (Nakedness) of Men

According to the Maliki School, the awra of men in Prayer is the pubic area alone. This refers to the male’s genital organ and testicles and private rear part. As for outside Prayer (in front of men and women), the awra of men, according to the Maliki School, is from between the navel to the knee. The thighs are awra, and a part of the knees following the thighs is also awra. [Zuhayli, Fiqh Al-Islam wa Adillatuhu]

According to the Shafi‘i School, the minimum requirement for a male to cover in front of others is between the navel and the knees, non-inclusive. Uncovering that area in front of others, not including one’s wife, or for reasons of medical necessity, is impermissible. The thighs are included in the awra, in and out of prayer.

According to the Hanbali School, the awra of a man is the area between the navel and the knees. However, the navel itself and each knee are not awra. The thighs are awrah. This is the same for inside and outside Prayer. [Ibn Qudama, Al-Mughni]

According to the Hanafi School, the awra for the male is from immediately below the navel up to below the knees. It is obligatory to cover this area. The navel is not included in this, but the knees are included. [al-Durr al-Mukhtar, Radd al-Muhtar]

Male–Female Interaction 

In Islam, interactions between the sexes are permitted within certain limits specified by the Quran and the Sunna. To some, these limits might appear to be very strict. However, divine wisdom underpins the limits set by Sacred Law.

In adhering to the boundaries set by Sacred Law, we can uphold the Quranic command to the believing men and women to be awliya of one another (guardians or protecting allies) while at the same time maintaining the modesty and purity of heart that come from obeying Allah and His Messenger in this regard.

In brief, when interacting with a woman who is not a member of your unmarriageable kin or your wife, you must avoid khalwa or seclusion; guard your gaze; and obviously, avoid any physical contact. [Nawawi, Majmu’a]

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.