Egyptians have been rowing over whether karate is considered impermissible, or haram in Arabic, after a Salafi sheikh decreed the martial art is an ‘abomination’ in Islam.
Egypt’s al-Azhar Mosque released a statement slamming Salafi Sheikh Yasser al-Borhamy after he decreed that martial arts is not permissible in Islam because humans “prostrate to each other” after their match is over.
His reasoning is that humans should not bow down to anyone but God and anyone who does otherwise is idolising something other than God himself – the only sin considered to take a Muslim out of the fold of Islam.
Al-Azhar responded to al-Borhamy’s fatwa, saying competitors bowing to each other is not considered worshiping another person – it is merely good sportsmanship.
“To prostrate with the intention to glorify a creature in a God-like manner is completely forbidden. Muslims must only bow down to God” said al-Azhar preacher Sheikh Ahmed al-Bahi.
“However, this must not be confused with the modern intention of bowing to opponents in some sports, which is considered a sign of respect and a show of sportsmanship”, he added.