Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
Can a Muslim be a professional Cricketer?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah guide every dimension of our lives to that which pleases Him.
As long as no unlawful elements are involved, sports and exercise are permissible, and therefore, getting paid for it is permissible, Allah knows best.
In the Sunna, we see that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) maintained and encouraged very healthy habits such as mountain climbing, running, hunting, walking, manual labor, swimming, archery, and wrestling.
The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) wrestled with Rukana, the most skilled wrestler of his time (may Allah be pleased with him. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) defeated Rukana and pinned him down. [Abu Dawud]
He (may Allah bless him and give him peace) raced with his wife ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her).
‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with our mother) said: “I went out with the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) on one of his journeys when I was still young and had not put on weight.” He (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said to the people: “Go on ahead.” So, they went on ahead, then he (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said to me, “Come, let me race with you.” “So, I raced with him, and I beat him, and he said nothing.”
“Then when I had put on some weight, and I had forgotten about it, I went out with him on one of his journeys, and he said to the people:” “Go on ahead.” So, they went on ahead, then he said to me, “Come, let me race with you.” So, I raced with him, and he beat me, then he smiled and said: “This is in return for that.” [Abu Dawud, Ahmad]
Salama Ibn Al-Akwa‘ (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) passed by a group of Aslam who were competing in shooting arrows. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Shoot, O sons of Isma‘il, for your father was an archer. Shoot, and I am with the tribe of So-and-so.”
One of the two groups stopped shooting, so the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “What is the matter with you? Why are you not shooting?” They said: O Messenger of Allah, how could we shoot when you are with them? He said: “Shoot, for I am with all of you.” [Bukhari]
Undoubtedly the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) used to train in horsemanship and the skills of fighting and running, and they were robust and resilient. There is strong imagery of the battle horses in Sura Al-ʿAdiyat [Qur’an 100:1-11]
It is soundly narrated from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) that he said: “Everything in which there is no remembrance of Allah is idle play, except four things: a man playing with his wife; a man training his horse; a man running between two lines (as in a race); and a man learning how to swim.” [Nasa’i, Al-Sunan al-Kubra]
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 pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.