What Guidelines Should Muslims Consider to Play Sports in Europe?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I’m an Italian researcher and would like to know the basic rules Muslims (male or female) should follow to practice sports in Europe. I mean at school or a social center like a gym or club.


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Sports are encouraged in Islam because they give one physical fitness and mental sharpness. Both of these are needed to be productive and responsible members of society.

Men and women and children are encouraged to play as long as specific guidelines are followed:

  • Boys and girls over age ten should not be playing together but separately. Their gym teachers or coaches should also be of the same gender.
  • Girls over ten should cover their hair while they play and wear loose-fitting trousers with a shirt that stops mid-thigh or at the knee. They can uncover their hair if they are entirely out of view of men and boys.
  • Boys should wear shorts that cover the knee, although loose sports pants are preferable. T-shirts are preferable over jersey tank tops. Swimming clothes should be long for girls, covering the whole body except the face and hands, if men and boys are present. Otherwise, the head, forearms, and lower legs may be uncovered.
  • Sports should not be played with music playing in the background unless it is permissible Islamic music. See this link: Listening to Islamic Songs with Musical Instruments
  • Striking one another in the face, such as in boxing, is not permissible.
  • If one is working out at a gym or social club, it is preferable that there be a prayer area for the children to pray before or after their class and a place to perform ablutions.

These are some general guidelines for children’s sports at school. Please don’t hesitate to follow up with any other questions you may have.

Check this link:
Is It Allowed to Wear Shorts While Playing Sports?

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.