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Well, as far as I am concerned wearing shorts are not allowed as they reveal ones thighs. But during swimming many do wear shorts and also incase of playing football. So, is it allowed to wear shorts while swimming? And what about playing football?

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Yes you can wear shorts as long as it covers your thighs. Most scholars agree that men should cover navel to knee, and this understanding is derived from the following Hadith:

Abu Dawood (3140) and Ibn Maajah (1460) narrated that ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not show your thigh, and do not look at the thigh of anyone, living or dead.”.

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