The Ruling on Women Attending the Gym


"O our Shaikh - may Allaah treat you in a fine manner - my question is as follows:

Is it permissible for a woman to join a women-only gymnasium in order to undertake physical exercise, and thus to preserve the health of her body; and is it permissible for her to utilize the steam-bath (sauna) which is present within the gymnasium, with the awareness that she will enter it (i.e. the sauna) alone, and that she will wear a bathing-costume which covers her body from her shoulders to mid-way down her calves; also that the changing-rooms are separated from the rest of the gymnasium and consist of individual [cubicles]; also that when the gymnasium is being used by the women then all of the personnel who are on duty are Salafee sisters, and there is no way for a man to enter the place, and all entries to the gymnasium are secured. So benefit us (with the answer) and may Allaah reward you."


"All praise is for Allaah. He (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) said: 

"Whichever woman removes her clothes in other than the house of her husband then she has torn down the veil lying between her and Allaah"

Reported by Ahmad and others from a hadeeth of `Aa'ishah, radiyallaahu `anhaa, and the hadeeth has an incident attached.

So in summary it is that some women came to her from Shaam, so she said to them: 'Are you the women who go to the steam-baths?' So they said: 'Yes.' So she said: 'I heard Allaahýs Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam)...', and she mentioned the hadeeth; and it has another chain of narration with Ahmad:

'Whichever woman removes her clothes in other than her mother's house..', then she mentioned it.

So the hadeeth is 'Saheeh' and with its narrations it is a textual forbiddance of a woman's going to the bath-houses outside her husband's house or her mother's house; and like that is the house of her maternal or paternal aunt.

This applies equally to swimming-baths and the steam-baths, as long as they are outside the houses we have mentioned.

However if the woman is ill, and a doctor prescribes visiting the steam-bath to her, and she is not able to achieve it in her house, then there is nothing to prevent her from going to these steam-baths as treatment.

But as for going for recreation, or as a sporting activity, then that is not permissible for her. Likewise entering within the generality of the hadeeth is her going to gymnasiums where clothes are removed; and if the woman needs a natural treatment requiring physical exercise, then she may do so in accordance with the amount prescribed for her by the doctor."

Dictated by `Ubayd ibn `Abdillaah ibn Sulaymaan al-Jaabiree, formerly teacher in the Islamic University of al-Madeenah; and this was at the time of Zuhr, on Wednesday 27 Jumaadal-Oolaa, in the year 1428, the 13th of June 2007.


On the 9th  of Jumaadath-Thaaniyah 1428 | 24 June 2007, via the telephone-link with the Salafee Mosque (Al-Maktabah As-Salafiyyah), Wright Street, in Birmingham, UK.

"The answer: Allaah, the Perfect and Most High, says:

[[Meaning: And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves in the manner of the earlier times of ignorance]] [Sooratul-Ahzaab (33):33]

And as is known all of the free-woman is `awrah [that which must be covered], except for her face and hands in the Prayer; and when the woman enters the state of ihraam for the Hajj it is obligatory upon her to cover her face if she sees strange men or they see her.

As for if she is with other women, or with her mahrams, or she is alone, then it is obligatory upon her to uncover her face-because her uncovering her face is like the man's uncovering his head. So it is not permissible for the man to cover his head.

So as is known if a woman enters a sports club then she will uncover something from the parts of her body.

So in any case I do not give a verdict that this is permissible, and success is granted by Allaah."


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