FAQs & Fatwas Islamic Law Men

Fiqh of Football [American Style]

Part I | Part II

Question: What is the ruling on Geese droppings? If we’re playing football, often we will end up praying Asr or Maghrib outside with the same clothes that we play in. I understand that one is not to pray with Najasah and there is always geese droppings everywhere in Chicago. What shalleth we do?

Answer: The dropping of birds are considered pure as noted by the writer of al-Sharh al-Saghir who said, “And from the pure things are the droppings of birds as long as they have not eaten from what is impure.” If one has no way of knowing if the birds  have eaten from something impure, then the assumption is that they haven’t.

Question: If we’re playing football, and you get hit in the nose and it starts bleeding profusely and eventually stops, have you lost your wudhu? Also, what if you get some small cuts here and there?

Answer: As for blood, its exit from the body does not necessitate wudhu (abulution) and therefore, it is not considered from one of the invalidaters of wudhu. The only concern is if it falls on the body, roughly the amount of a quarter. Then, before one prays, it should be cleaned from his body or clothes. If it is less then the amount of a Quarter then it is excused and considered M’afu ‘Anhu (excused). Thus, brothers don’t need to worry about small drops of blood. Some scholars, such as Khalil, restricted this excuse exclusively to the battle field, however,as Sheikh al-Dardir stated, “There is no application to the restriction of al-Sheikh [meaning Sheikh Khalil].

Thus, according to the strong opinion is that it is blood in any situation. It should be noted that ‘Umar was stabbed, blood was on his body and he still prayed, ponder.

Question: Once you’re done playing and are going to pray maghrib, if you’re by a masjid, should you go to the masjid and pray in jama’ah or pray outside in jama’ah considering the ‘dirtiness’ of your clothes and possible uncle thrashing that would follow due to your appearance in coming to the masjid?

Answer: As for the masjid. The promise of greater rewards for the one who prays is not restricted to the masjid, but to praying in a group. Of course, there are the rewards associated with going to the masjid like having sins removed and the rewards gained for each step taken to it, the salams to one’s brothers and other subtle blessings. However, it is sufficient for the brothers to pray together in Jam’a (congregation) and avoid the conflicts with the uncles. Secondly, wearing such clothes may harm the sanctity of the masjid in the hearts of others.

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.

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  • Asalamu alyakum,

    Sheikh al-Dardi says in al-Sharh al-Saghir, the main book of fatwa in the Maliki school, “All living things are pure…even the skin of pigs and dogs.” Thus, according to the school, while it is forbidden to eat their flesh, they are not impure to touch.

    Allah knows best

  • ASAK Sheikh,

    Praise be to Allaah.

    Simply touching something impure does not make the body impure, unless there is some wetness either in the impure substance or on the body.

    Shaykh Ibn Jibreen said:

    If the body or clothes are dry and touch something impure that is also dry, that does not matter, because the impurity is only transferred when it is wet. Fataawa Islamiyyah, 1/194

    Based on this, the hand does not become impure simply by touching these gloves that are made of pigskin, unless the hand or the gloves are wet.

    If the hands become impure by touching the pigskin when there is some wetness, then you have to wash your hands. It is sufficient to wash them once, because there is no command to wash something impure seven times, one of which is with dust or dirt, except in the case of impurity caused by a dog.

    Some scholars likened the pig to the dog, so they said that one should wash seven times in the case of pig-related impurity, one of which should be with dust or dirt.

    Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “This is a weak analogy, because pigs are mentioned in the Qur’aan and they existed at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and there is no report which likens them to dogs. So the correct view is that pig-related impurity is like any other kind of impurity, and there is no need to wash seven times, one of which should be with dust or dirt.” Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 1/356.

    So the Muslim should strive to keep his body and clothes clean and pure, and avoid wearing these gloves that are made of pigskin, because that involves touching something impure and exposes his hands and clothes to the risk of becoming impure, which would affect the validity of his prayers. But if he needs to wear these gloves because he cannot find anything else, then it is permissible for him to wear them, so long as he is careful to avoid contaminating his body or clothes, and he hastens to wash off any impurity if he gets it on him, so that he does not transfer it anywhere else or forget to wash it off his hands or clothes.

    There are permissible kinds of animal skins and leathers available which mean that there is no need for these impure types. We ask Allaah to help us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him.

    And Allaah knows best.

    What do you think about above ruling?

  • Asalamu alaykum,

    While we don't agree with these noble scholars on this issue, we respect and honor their status, may Allah forgive them both and grant them a high place in Paradise.

  • Salam aleikum,

    I don't know how much of a positive response you got for this discussion, but I really applaud you for this!

    This is coming closer to the real definition and understanding fiqh–having to do with our daily affairs, and not just spoon feeding old fatwas, rulings and ideas. I do wonder though if this is specific to a madhab (Maliki?), since I am Shafi'i.

    Anyways, keep at it!

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