Bowing in Martial Arts

December 9, 2012 2 Comments »
Bowing in Martial Arts

Answered by Shaykh Ali Laraki al-Husaini


If one wants to train in an Asian Martial Art is it then permissible to bow, like it is done in Karate for instance?


Assalamu alaikum

This is a matter that has concern me as a karate student and teacher[1]. What is haram is to do ruku’. The Japanese bowing is not ruku’ because the angle of bowing is less pronounced than the one needed for ruku’. I have also found in a commentary of the Risala (al-Fawakih ad-Dawani by an-Nafrawi) that some ulama are of the opinion that bowing (inhina’) is allowed if it does not reach the level of ruku’.

And Allah knows best.

Shaykh Ali

[1] Besides being an Islamic (Maliki) scholar Shaykh ‘Ali Laraki al-Husaini (hafidhahullāh) is also a Sensei, a black belt in Shotokan Karate and Judo.

This Q&A is also available in Danish here


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  1. Nourredine 10/12/2012 at 1:50 pm -

    As Salam ‘aleykoum

    I am interested to extend the question about the kind of bowing specific to Aikido. This teaching is very attactring but the bowing at the beginning and at the end goes almost until sujud.

  2. S.A. Bak 12/02/2013 at 7:43 am -

    Wa ‘alaykum us-salam. Yes that would be interesting to know about.

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