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Ruling on breaking the fast in order to play football (soccer) when travelling and otherwise, and the ruling on travelling fans breaking the fast

 

Praise
be to Allah

Firstly:

There is nothing
wrong with playing football if it is not for money or prizes, and it does
not distract one from obligatory duties, or lead to anything that is
prohibited, such as uncovering the ‘awrah or free mixing of men and women.

There is nothing
wrong with watching games if they are free of these problems. Please see the
answer to question no. 95280.

Secondly:

It is not
permissible to break an obligatory fast for the purpose of playing sport,
because breaking the fast is only allowed in the case of a valid excuse such
as sickness or travel, and playing sport does not come under this heading.

If it is not
permissible in principle for those who have physically hard jobs to break
the fast, then what about those who break the fast in order to play?! Please
see the answers to questions no. 12592 and
43772.

Thirdly:

If a player
travels to another city that is far enough away to make it permissible to
shorten the prayers, which is 80 km, then the issue of his breaking the fast
is subject to further discussion:

-1-

If his playing
football is prohibited, because the game is played for prizes and money, or
because he is required to uncover his ‘awrah, then this journey is sinful,
and the majority of Maaliki, Shaafa‘i and Hanbali scholars are of the view
that the traveller who travels for sinful purposes is not allowed to avail
himself of the concessions, so he should not break his fast or shorten the
four-rak‘ah prayers, and he cannot  wipe over  the khuff (or socks) in the
manner that is permitted to the traveller.

The Hanafis and
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah are of the view that he may avail himself of
the concessions like any other traveller, but it is obligatory for him to
repent from sin. In al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (25/33) it says: The
majority of fuqaha’ – the Maalikis according to the more correct view, the
Shaafa‘is and the Hanbalis – stipulated with regard to travel in which
concessions are granted that the traveller should not be committing sin by
travelling, such as a bandit, a woman who is defiantly disobeying to her
husband, a person who is disobeying to his parents, and a traveller who owes
a debt when he is able to pay it off but travels without the permission of
his creditor. That is because the prescription of the concessions of travel
is to help people, but the one who is sinning or disobeying Allah is not to
be helped, because the concession could not be granted for a sinner.

A similar case
is where a person’s travel changes from being permissible to being sinful,
in that he sets out on a journey for a permissible purpose, then he changes
his intention to an unlawful purpose. What is meant by the traveller whose
journey is for sinful purposes, is where the main motive for travelling is a
sin, as in the examples mentioned above.

The Hanbalis
included alongside travel for sinful purposes travel for makrooh (disliked
or disapproved) purposes. In their view, the traveller cannot avail himself
of the concessions if he is travelling to do something that is makrooh.

In the Maaliki
madhhab, there is a difference of opinion regarding concessions in the case
of makrooh travel. It was said that it is not allowed to avail oneself of
the concessions, and it was said that doing so is permissible. Ibn Sha‘baan
said: If he shortens the prayers, he does not have to repeat them, because
of the difference of opinion concerning the matter.

Moreover, if the
one who was sinning by travelling repents during his journey, then he may
avail himself of the concessions of travel, as if he had not committed sin
before that, and his journey is regarded as beginning from the time of his
repentance.

According to
some of the Maalikis, it is permissible to avail oneself of the concessions
of travel when travelling for sinful purposes, even though doing so is
regarded as makrooh.

The Hanafis did
not stipulate this condition, so (according to them) the one who is
travelling for sinful purposes may avail himself of all the concessions of
travel, because of the general meaning of the texts which speak of the
concessions, such as the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says
(interpretation of the meaning): “and
whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days”
[al-Baqarah 2:185]
;
and the hadith narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him), who
said: Allah enjoined  prayer on the lips of your Prophet, four rak‘ahs when
not travelling and two rak‘ahs when travelling.

Sin is not a
reason for the concession; rather the reason for it is travel; as he is
travelling, the reason for the concession is there.

As for one who
sins whilst travelling, who is a person who intends to travel for
permissible purposes, then he happens to commit a sin, the fuqaha’ are
unanimously agreed that he may avail himself of the concessions whilst
travelling, because he did not intend to travel for sinful purposes, and
because the reason for the concession – which is travel – is applicable
before and after the sin he committed. End quote.

 Please see also
the answer to question no. 50758.

-2-

If his playing
football is permissible, then it is permissible for him to break his fast
whilst travelling.

-3-

This may also be
said regarding the ruling on the fans who travel. If their travel is
forbidden, then there is a difference of scholarly opinion about their
breaking the fast; if travelling is permissible for them, then it is
permissible for them to break the fast.

In that regard,
it makes no difference whether the journey is to a non-Muslim country or to
a Muslim country, but if someone travels to a non-Muslim country in order to
commit sin, then his journey is a sinful journey, and what is mentioned
above applies to it.

With regard to
uncovering the thigh, it is forbidden, and as a result it is also forbidden
to play football or to travel for the purpose of that forbidden play, as may
be understood from what is mentioned above.

Fourthly:

It is
permissible to travel to swim at a resort, if it is thought most likely that
one will be able to avoid committing any evils, such as seeing ‘awrahs, free
mixing of women with men, and so on.

But if the
person who goes there will not be able to avoid seeing evil and will not be
able to denounce it, or he himself will fall into evil, then it is not
permissible for him to go to these places.

Please see the
answer to question no. 23464.

And Allah knows
best.