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Can Muslim Women Practice Resistance Training?

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Publication : 10-11-2022

Views : 12833

Question

What is the ruling on what is known as resistance training, for women? Some of it relies on bodyweight only, such as pull-ups, push-ups, squats, planks and so on; and some of it relies on using weights, ropes and other things. Is all of that not permissible for women? Or is some of it permissible? Or is it all permissible for women? Please note that there are specialists who encourage this kind of training for both sexes, because of what it brings of health benefits for the muscles and fitness for the body.

Summary of answer

There is nothing wrong with Muslim women doing exercise, including resistance exercises, so long as the following conditions are met: 1. That should be done in a safe place where men cannot look in. 2. The `Awrah should be covered in front of other women. 3. The exercise should not cause the woman any harm. 4. Exercise should not distract the woman from obligatory duties such as prayer.

Praise be to Allah.

What are resistance exercises?

Resistance exercises are a type of physical activities that are designed to improve the health of the muscles, as it trains a muscle or group of muscles to resist the force exerted upon them.

Resistance training refers to any exercise that is done to contract and stretch the muscles, which increases them in strength, size and endurance.

Can Muslim women practice resistance training?

There is nothing wrong with women doing exercise, including resistance exercises, so long as the following conditions are met:

  • That should be done in a safe place where men cannot look in, because of the obligation for women to cover their bodies in front of non-Mahram men in clothes that are not see-through and do not show the shape of the limbs; and because of what exercise involves of moving, lying down and showing different charms of the body. Therefore it is not allowed to do exercises that involve these things, or exercises that involve uncovering the chest or legs in front of Mahrams. It is not permissible for a woman to uncover in front of her Mahram anything except that which is usually seen, such as the head, face, neck, arms and feet.
  • The `Awrah should be covered in front of other women . Among women, the `Awrah is the area between the navel and the knee. Hence it is not permissible for a woman to uncover her thigh in front of her mother or sister. 

Muslim (388) narrated that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “No man should look at the `Awrah of another man, and no woman should look at the `Awrah of another woman.”

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Muslim: “This indicates that it is forbidden for a man to look at the `Awrah of another man and for a woman to look at the `Awrah of another woman. There is no difference of scholarly opinion concerning that.” 

  • The exercise should not cause the woman any harm, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There should be no harming and no reciprocating harm.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 2865 and Ibn Majah, 2341; classed as authentic by Al-Albani in Sahih Ibn Majah)
  • Exercise should not distract the woman from obligatory duties such as prayer, fulfilling the rights of her husband and parents, and so on.

There are other conditions which have been explained previously in the answer to question no. 115676 .

There is nothing wrong with doing the exercises you mentioned, such as pull-ups, push-ups, squats, planks, and exercises with weights and ropes, if attention is paid to the guidelines mentioned above, and the exercises are done in a way that does not result in harm.

Shaykh Ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about exercise for girls.

He replied: 

“Exercise may be subject to different rulings. Exercise among girls doing things that are not contrary to Islamic teachings, such as walking a great deal in a place that is only for them, where men will not mix with them or be able to see the place, or in a swimming pool in their own house, or in their own school where no man can see them and come in contact with them – there is nothing wrong with that. As for exercise which leads to mixing between men and women , or where men can see the women, or exercise that could cause harm to the Muslims, is not permissible.

So it depends: in the case of exercise that is only for women, which does not involve anything that goes against Islamic teachings, and there is no mixing with men – rather it is in a place that is screened of and is far away from any mixing – there is nothing wrong with that, whether it involves walking or swimming and the like. And they can also race against one another." (Fatawa Nur `Ala Ad-Darb)

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A