Fatwa ID: 05393
Answered by: Maulana Syed Johir Miah
What’s the ruling of boxing as self-defense (this would entail punching someone in the face)?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Islam looks at the welfare of the people and the society in itself.
In Islam, for a sport to be considered permissible to engage in, the sport must not be physically damaging.
Hence, any sport that is very assertive or is played in a way that brings physical harm to its participants, will not be permissible.
Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says:
وَاَنۡفِقُوۡا فِىۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِ وَلَا تُلۡقُوۡا بِاَيۡدِيۡكُمۡ اِلَى التَّهۡلُكَةِ ۖ ۛۚ وَاَحۡسِنُوۡا ۛۚاِنَّاللّٰهَيُحِبُّالۡمُحۡسِنِيۡ
“And make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction”.
(Surah al-Baqarah, Verse 195)
Sayyidatuna Aisha(رضى الله عنها)narrated that the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم)of Allah (عز و جل)said: لا ضَرَرَ ولا ضِرارَ
“There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm”.
Boxing is a physical sport and the harms of it are well known to those who participate in it, as well as those who don’t. Many boxers have suffered serious damages and injuries to their body, whilst some have also perished due to its impact.
A person must refrain from taking up boxing or any other sport that entails serious physical harm.
Islam supports physical exercise and training which are within the boundaries of Shariah and therefore, learning self-defense techniques is very crucial. However, a person must use means that are permissible and not detrimental in any way to themselves or others.
Harming another person or oneself for the sake of training is not permissible.
Hence, in the aforementioned case, the ruling of boxing as self-defense which would entail punching someone in the face is impermissible.
However, simply box on the punching bag is permissible, as that is not causing harm to anyone.
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Maulana Syed Johir Miah
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
 Sunan Dar Qutni, Hadith 4539, 407/5, Muassasatur Risalah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1424 H.