Competing in an Academic Debate Against a Team Called “The Devils”
Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan
Question: In a few months time I, and other students from other schools, will gather in order to give speeches and debate about some of the world’s problems. This event is hosted many times through the year, however, the one which I will go to is being hosted by a school who have taken the nickname “the devils”. This nickname is one that has been put in place by the early students of the school and as such the present students have nothing to do with it. The school will also NOT partake in these debates besides overseeing the needs of students and giving grades. Because I am only going for a temporary time (2 days) and because it would be purely for academic reasons I am unsure on whether or not it is permissible.
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.
This would be permissible for you to attend, as the actual event (academic debate) is not sinful, nor the topics being debated. Such debate is in fact recommended in the Sharia.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “This religion is sincere concern and well-wishing.” [Sahih Muslim] Debating world problems so as to arrive at solutions for those problems is from sincere concern for humanity.
The nickname of the host school is a tangential consideration, and Allah knows best.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani