The Ruling on Bowing in Martial Arts

Taken from www.alifta.com   (also found here: http://fatwaislam.com/fis/index.cfm?scn=fd&ID=1260 )

Third question from Fatwa no. 5313

Q 3: We joined a karate club in America. The coach said: “You should bow when your opponent bows to you”. We refused and explained that this is against our religion. He agreed but said: “You should only gesture by your heads, for an opponent initiates a greeting by bowing and you should greet him back”. What is your opinion on this?

A: It’s not permissible to bow to greet a Muslim or a non-Muslim whether by the upper part of the body or with the head, because bowing is a religious act of `Ibadah (worship) and `Ibadah

(Part No. 1; Page No. 234)

should be devoted to Allah Alone.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

Member Member Deputy Chairman Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Qa`ud `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz
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