More on the Fiqh of Football [American Football]

Part I | Part II

“What about pigskin footballs?”

“Isn’t the dead flesh of swine considered filth in the Maliki School?”

I did not post Isa’s contention because I assumed that footballs were not made from the flesh of swine and if they were, they went through some type of istihala [don’t have time for that now, but think cheese and chips]. Here’s some evidence to further that assumption.

“Get an inside look at how Wilson makes the Official NFL Game Ball at our factory in Ada, Ohio. As the official football supplier for the NFL since 1941, Wilson workers at the Ada factory construct thousands of NFL Game Balls annually by hand from genuine leather hides. Located approximately 80 miles northwest of Columbus, Ohio, the factory employs only 150 workers whose average tenure exceeds 20 years. Their traditional method of football construction extends more than six decades, standing as a true testament to American craftsmanship.” Taken form Wilson’s site here

Interesting article on why it’s called the “Pigskin.”

Thus, the axiom, “The origin of things is permissible unless there is a clear proof to the opposite” kicks in [no pun intended]. In addition, the process of istihala most probably accord [remember the chips and cheese discussion a year or so back].

A few points:

  • I was really proud that the brothers did not let this take them away from praying in the masjid. We hear some much negative reflux, its good to see things like this.
  • The ruling on football is permissible. However, if it gets in the way of the obligatory it can become forbidden. This was noted by al-Dardir in al-Sharh al-Saghir when he said, “Marriage can be forbidden if it takes one away from the obligatory acts.” If that is the case of marriage, one can only wonder about sports?
  • Sports are an awesome way to build love and brotherhood. Be careful and don’t let your egos cause you to forget that. Stay focused on the fact that you are there to improve your love for each other, get in shape, and, perhaps, score a few points. If tempers rise, say a big ‘Audhubilla, take a break and regain your focus.
  • Try and have a small five minute reminder during or after the game. Heart softeners and keeping up on the community are always a good idea.

This had to be one of the most enjoyable questions I’ve had in some time practical, relevant and engaging.


Print Friendly


  1. Furhan Zubairi says:

    As salam u alaikum wa rhamatullah,

    JazakAllah kahir for all the great posts. May Allah (swt) reward you in this life and the next.
    Quick question regarding the axiom, “The origin of things is permissible unless there is a clear proof to the opposite”. What is the scope of application of this axiom? Is its application general or specific? Basically, where does this axiom apply and where doesn't it?


  2. Suhaib Webb says:

    Asalamu alaykum,

    It is not applied to acts or worship.


  3. Furhan Zubairi says:

    JazakAllah khair

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

More in FAQs & Fatwas, Islamic Law, Men (112 of 163 articles)