Islamic preacher issues fatwa against bodybuilding after Egyptian wins title 6 months ago

Islamic preacher issues fatwa against bodybuilding after Egyptian wins title

Bodybuilding is seen as a divisive sport in many Islamic societies

An Egyptian preacher has issued a fatwa against bodybuilding in the wake of his fellow compatriot winning the sport's most prestigious award.


Earlier this month, Mamdouh Elssbiay, known informally as 'Big Ramy', won the illustrious Mr. Olympia final for the second time in his career.


Regarded as the highest accolade in bodybuilding, the Mr. Olympia title was lifted seven times by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1970s with Ronnie Coleman and Phil Heath also among its past winners.

Success at the Olympia rightly makes Big Ramy the highest-ranked bodybuilder on the planet. However, not everyone was impressed by his achievements - and he only had to look close to home.

In the aftermath of Big Ramy's win, Egyptian preacher Abdullah Rushdy hit out at bodybuilding, claiming that it is immoral and goes against Islamic teaching.

In a tweet, Rushy wrote: "A man may not participate in tournaments, in which a condition to participate in it he must show some of the private parts that the Shariah commanded him to cover.


"Do whatever sports you want without violating the rules of the Sharia."

Rushdy's tweet garnered some support - but also much controversy.


One user wrote: "The one you criticise is one of the most respectable and genuine personalities you will ever meet in your life.

"This is a person who worked hard for years to achieve his dream and reached it and it will continue, God willing.

"You are trying to sabotage the joy of a hardworking person."


Rushdy doubled down on his original tweet in a video posted to Facebook in which he elaborated on his opposition to bodybuilding.

He wrote: "I am not saying no to sports, but the rules of the Sharia ought to be respected when doing so.

"Awrah for men includes the body parts between their navel and knees, and it's the entire body for women, except for their face and hands."

Rushy added that competing in sports should be prohibited if it involves displaying such body parts.

“I advise young men not to practice bodybuilding because of this and women should not participate in any competition that requires them to show parts of their bodies.”

Big Ramy has not responded to the comments, but has limited comments on his Instagram account.

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