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03 Jamadi al-Awwal 1443  ,  08 December 2021

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Fatawaa


Subject : Ruling on Taking Performance-Enhancing Drugs in Sports

Fatwa Number : 3649

Date : 07-10-2021

Classified : Competitions & Games

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa


Question :

What is the ruling of Sharia on taking performance-enhancing drugs in sports?



The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Islam encourages Muslims to exercise especially to enhance fitness, skill, and health through healthy and lawful nutrition. On the other hand, Islam bans whatever harms the body, such as hormones or performance-enhancing drugs taken by athletes to show high levels of fitness. These substances are dangerous and cause serious physical as well as mental harm; as reflected in Resolution No.(136) of the Jordan Iftaa` Council:

The general texts of Sharia (Quran and Sunnah) call for preserving five necessities: religion, life, wealth, intellect, and lineage. Therefore, performance-enhancing drugs taken by athletes are prohibited based on the following evidence:

First: The ultimate purpose of sport is reforming one`s body, warding off physical and psychological harm as well as showing aspects of strength and vitality. Even if sport is practiced for entertainment, it is permitted provided that the rules of Sharia in this regard are adhered to. According to authentic narrations, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) raced with his wife Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her), wrestled Rukanah, and participated in horses and camels races.

Second: From the perspective of benefits and harms, performance-enhancing drugs are useless. On the contrary, they are harmful to the body and intellect. In principle, one`s body is supposed to be strong and active in normal situation, but when these drugs are taken benefits turn into harms and consequently the use of these drugs contradicts with the jurisprudential maxims that stipulate warding off harm.

Third: One of the jurisprudential maxims states, "What is proven to be harmful is proven to be prohibited." Since these drugs are proven to be harmful, they are proven to be prohibited. Texts from the Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah clearly prohibit substances that are harmful to one`s body, religion and society, such as intoxicants. On the other hands, other substance are prohibited in consideration of the harms resulting from taking them.

Fourth: Performance-enhancing drugs in sports constitute a transgression against natural inclination, destruction of man`s health, and a change of the nature of man`s body. In the words of Satan, Allah says {What means}:"I will mislead them, and I will create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) nature created by God." Whoever, forsaking God, takes satan for a friend, hath of a surety suffered a loss that is manifest" {An-Nisa`, 119}. Defacing the fair nature created by God refers to every act that leads to changing the image of a human being.

Fifth: Taking performance-enhancing drugs in sports leads to chronic and incurable diseases and, in some situations, causes death. Allah the Almighty forbade killing one`s-self where He says {What means}: " Nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily God hath been to you Most Merciful!" {Al-Baqarah, 195}. He the Almighty also says: "And spend of your substance in the cause of God, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for God loveth those who do good." {Al-Baqrah, 195}.

Six: Taking performance-enhancing drugs is an act of lying, cheating, and reversing of facts since it makes an athlete`s body look strong and active while, in truth, it isn`t. This contradicts Allah`s command for Muslims to be true in word and deed. He the Almighty says {What means}: " O ye who believe! Fear God and be with those who are true (in word and deed)." {At-tawbah, 119}. It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) observed: "He who took up arms against us is not of us and he who acted dishonestly towards us is not of us." {Related by Muslim}. He (Peace be upon him) also said: "Deception is a cause to enter the Fire." {Sahih Bukhari}.

Seven: This ruling of Sharia conforms with the view of international laws and organizations, which bans taking performance-enhancing drugs. And Allah the Almighty knows best.




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