Are Arts Such As Kung Fu Allowed in Islām?
Found on mathabah.org
Answered by Imam Mazhar Mahmood
Are arts such as kung fu allowed in Islām?
Kung fu/Kungfu is a Chinese term referring to any study, learning, or practice that requires patience, energy, and time to complete, often used in the West to refer to Chinese martial arts. (Wikipedia)
Arts such as kung fu which build one’s moral and physical strength and bring about great improvement, health wise, are highly encouraged in Islām. This is provided that one abstains from practices which lead to portraying acts of associating partners with Allāh, such as bowing down to the instructor, as an act of worship or reverence resembling worship.
Allāh’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) would encourage his companions to practice sports such as wrestling and archery to further progress in strength and bravery. This fact is proven from numerous aḥādīth. (See: Majma’ al-Zawāid 5:321 for details)
‘Alī bin Abī Ṭālib (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported: “ I have never heard the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) mentioning both of his parents being ransomed for anyone except for Sa’d (may Allāh be pleased with him). On the Day of Uḥud, I heard him saying: ‘Shoot the arrow Sa’d, may my father and mother be ransomed for you (a statement in the Arabic language said to show love, encouragement and reverence to another). ”
In fact, looking after one’s physical and moral strength is so important that Allāh’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) is reported to have said: “The strong believer is better and is more beloved to Allāh than the weak believer, although both are virtuous. Strive to attain that which will benefit you and seek Allāh’s help. (Always put your reliance in Allāh) And never be despondent.” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim: 2664)
Not only did Allāh’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) encourage his ummah to hold on to these productive practices, but he also enjoyed spectating them with his family.
‘Āishah (may Allāh be pleased with her) reported: “It was the day of ‘Īd and people were playing with shields and spears. I stood behind Allāh’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) with his face parallel to my face (watching the people play), and he said: “O Banū Arfada, be well engaged in playing (your sports)”. (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim: 4:1942)
Allāh Almighty Knows Best