How can Muslim men compete in Olympic games (and other athletic competitions) if wearing gold is haram for men? In the Olympics, do they simply accept the gold medal but refuse to wear it?
Jazak Allah Khair
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Gold medals given in Olympics isn't actually GOLD. The last Olympic gold medal that was actually made from gold was awarded in 1912.
The specific composition and design of Olympic medals is determined by the host city's organizing committee. However, certain standards must be maintained:
It's worth noting that gold, silver, and bronze medals have not always been awarded. At the 1896 Olympic Games, the winners were awarded silver medals, while the runners-up got bronze medals. The winners at the 1900 Olympics received trophies or cups instead of medals. The custom of awarding gold, silver, and bronze medals started at the 1904 Olympics. After the 1912 Olympics, the gold medals have been gilded silver rather than real gold.
So the gold medals is not technically be pure gold.
In the Olympics, do they simply accept the gold medal but refuse to wear it?
They can do it citing religions reasons if they believe that even gold plating is forbidden for men in Islam.
Moreover, we need to understand why Islam forbids wearing gold for men (reason why gold is forbidden for men):
It is well known that gold is something with which people adorn and beautify themselves, but a man is not meant to do this, i.e., he is not a person who may be perfected by means of adding something, rather a man is perfect in and of himself, because of his manhood, so he has no need to adorn himself for some one else that he may like, unlike women. A woman needs to adorn herself so as to make herself attractive to her husband, thus creating a bond between her and her husband. Hence it permissible for a woman to adorn herself with gold and other things, so that the man will be attracted to her and seek her, and the purpose of marriage will be achieved, which is the propagation of the human species. Being brought up with adornments and softness is only appropriate for women; as for men, it is something blameworthy in their case.