Girls And Women Participating In A Swimming Gala

Question

Is it permissible for women to participate in swimming galas?

Answer

The Hadith that we have found in regards to swimming is as follows:

The best amusement of a believer is swimming, and the best amusement of a woman is spinning the mill.
(Al Jaamea-us-Sagheer)

Hadrat Thanvi Rahimahullah has quoted this Hadith in Ahkaamul Quraan (pg.191 vol.3) to prove the permissibility of swimming as there are various other forms of sport that are impermissible in Shariat even though one may be physically benefitting by indulging in such sports. However, this is no way indicates that women or girls should leave their homes and attend a swimming gala.

Shariat has strictly emphasised that women should remain within the confines of their homes to such an extent that they shouldn’t even attend the congregation Salaah, then where can there be any scope for women to attend such events.
Allah Ta’aala states in the Quraan Sharif:

And remain in your homes and do not make a display of yourselves as was the practice of the former period
of ignorance and establish Salaah and discharge your Zakaat and obey Allah and his Rasul.

In the above verse of the Quraan Sharif it is quite clear that women should remain within the confines of their homes and not leave unnecessarily.

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ الْمَرْأَةُ عَوْرَةٌ فَإِذَا خَرَجَتِ اسْتَشْرَفَهَا الشَّيْطَانُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ
جامع الترمذي  1173

The Ulema have written (under the above Hadith) that it is permissible for a woman to leave her home to fulfil her necessities if she is unable to find someone to do so. Leaving her home to fulfil her needs refers to going to the market place to purchase the daily necessities of life. However, she should cover her body completely leaving only one eye exposed so that she may be able to see the path. (Tafseer-e-Mazhari pg.495 vol.6) Allama Shami Rahmatullahi Alaihi has written that we will prohibit a young girl from exposing her face amongst the men, due to fear of Fitnah.

From the above quotations it is quite clear as to how important it is for a woman to conceal herself, remain indoors and leave only in a state of dire necessity. Based on the above it will not be correct for the girls to attend events such as the queried swimming gala.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

ونمنع المراة الشابة من كشف الوجه بين الرجال لا لانه عورة بل لخوف الفتنة
شامى ص٤٠٦ ج ا 

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