Is watching/playing Sports okay

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Is watching/playing Sports okay

Postby shm » Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:50 pm

Does anybody know if watching sports is ok and a reasonable thing to do in the bahai fatih.
The reason Im asking this is cuz there are things in the bahai writings that go against watching sports. For instance Ive read in the bahai writing, that Bahaullah wrote that we should not get happy about anything except for that fact that we are closer to God, this should our only source of joy, I think its written somewhere in the Hidden Word.

What Im wondering is that when Im watching for instance NBA basketball on TV, I see that the players make a slam dunk or something, and then if a player dunks the ball over someone else he stands there and looks at the person he dunked on as if hes all big and bad. Now for a person whos in the moment, if they see someone do a slam dunk over someone like that, they'll be like "oooohhhhhhhh, that crazy, he gave that person a facial" and if a person is in the moment, they look at it like this. And for the player who did the dunk theyll probably flex there muscle, or put there hands to there ears, or theyll yell or they'll just stare down at the person who they dunked on. In my view, this kind of reaction shows pride towards others, and when I see things like this and I think that what would AbdulBaha think if he saw something like this I would think to myself "what the heck did the guy do, all he did was dunk the ball and hes yelling, flexing his muscle, and staring down the other guy". But if u forget about ur religion when ur watching NBA basketball, ull see nothing wrong with this and ull flow along with it.

The same goes for every other sport as well. For instance in soccer, when someone scores a goal they run take off there shirt throw it in the crowd and some player even look up at the sky as if they're looking up to God and put there hands up as if they're gesturing "thank you God", some of them kiss there finger and raise there arm. And when I think deeply about this, I think that in the sight of God this person has done nothing important, all hes done is kicked the ball to the back of the net, and in the eyes of God, this is niether an act of generosity or nothing, and I when the person celebrates after doing something like this I think to myself "what have u done to celebrate like this" When a player feels good when they score a goal, this contradicts with what Bahaullah say about not feeling happyness or joy over anything except being closer to God.

The same goes when people play sports as well. Im confused, is competition a virtue in the eyes of Bahaullah or is it indulging in ur passions. Cuz when people play sports they compete with one another and they want to prove that they are better than the other person, and if they score a goal against the other person theyll feel good, and pride themselves, and this seems to be against the Bahai attitude.

Before I use to play sports like this, but later on I saw that, when I feel joy when I score a goal, this is not something that I should feel joy or happyness over cuz Bahaullah says we shouldnt feel joy over anything except being closer to God.

Would it be okay in the eyes of Bahaullah if we watched sport on TV with the way the player react, and with the way that someone wants there favourite team to win over the other, and gets excitement when the game gets "hot" and are on there "toes" mentally, or is this wrong cuz we are indulging in our passions.


Postby SLKRR9 » Thu Mar 09, 2006 5:04 pm

Khalil Greene is a Bahá'í. (Google his name if you don't know who he is). I think that should answer some of your questions.


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Postby onepence » Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:17 pm

Hi shm,

in short
All is from God

God willing I will write a more detailed response later.

But some basic thought would be ... =clnk&cd=5

Although it is clear from the Writings that such things as attachment to material possessions, an overemphasis on sex, or preoccupation with worldly status can function as spiritual impediments, Bahá’u’lláh (1971b) also wrote that:

Should a man wish to adorn himself with the ornaments of the earth, to wear its apparels, or partake of the benefits it can bestow, no harm can befall him, if he alloweth nothing to intervene between him and God, for God hath ordained every good thing, whether created in the heavens or on the earth, for such of His servants as truly believe in Him. Eat ye, O people, of the good things which God hath allowed you, and deprive not yourselves from His wondrous bounties. Render thanks and praise unto Him, and be of them that are truly thankful. (p. 276)

In noting this, as well as Shoghi Effendi’s (1984) statement that the Bahá’í standard of conduct “is not to be confused with any form of asceticism, or of excessive and bigoted puritanism” (p. 33), it is clear that the religion’s perspective with respect to development of the healthy personality is not one that evolves through extreme spiritual practices; it emerges through a moral and balanced interaction with an environment identified as matrix for the cultivation of virtues, in which work is expressive of spiritual purpose and is a form of prayer that addresses the selfishness of the lower nature.


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Postby onepence » Fri Mar 10, 2006 2:54 am

Kitáb-i-Aqdas Notes 173 It hath been forbidden you to carry arms unless essential ¶159

Bahá’u’lláh confirms an injunction contained in the Bayán which makes it unlawful to carry arms, unless it is necessary to do so. With regard to circumstances under which the bearing of arms might be “essential” for an individual, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá gives permission to a believer for self-protection in a dangerous environment. Shoghi Effendi in a letter written on his behalf has also indicated that, in an emergency, when there is no legal force at hand to appeal to, a Bahá’í is justified in defending his life. There are a number of other situations in which weapons are needed and can be legitimately used; for instance, in countries where people hunt for their food and clothing, and in such sports as archery, marksmanship, and fencing.
On the societal level, the principle of ... ... s/n173.htm

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Postby onepence » Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:38 am

"Here again, religion's challenge is to free itself from the obsessions of the past: contentment is not fatalism; morality has nothing in common with the life-denying puritanism that has so often presumed to speak in its name; and a genuine devotion to duty brings feelings not of self-righteousness but of self-worth." ... hlight#gr8

The Prosperity of Humankind, Pages 11-13: gr8

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Postby onepence » Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:54 am

An interesting micro-biography of Cathy Freeman that attempts to profile the woman as distinct from the lycra-suited athlete who stood patiently at the Sydney Olympics when the electronic Olympic flame almost didn't work. The nation nearly passed out from holding its breath, but Freeman - clearly a cool cookie - kept her composure.

She makes a charming subject for study and her apparent lack of poise actually acquits her well here. Instead of the smooth sales pitch that seems to envelop most celebrity interviews these days, particularly in the high-pressure world of elite athletics, Freeman's lack of pretension makes this less of an interview and more of a candid, frank, intimate conversation.

In it, she talks about her relationship with her mother, Cecilia, her sister, Annie-Marie, who suffered from cerebral palsy, and the strength she draws from the Baha'i faith. A fantastic chat from start to finish and well worth your time. ... 14770.html

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Postby onepence » Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:59 am

The love and pain that inspire Cathy

March 9, 2006 ... 18668.html

Top athlete may journey from the winner's podium to the Academy Awards, writes Michael Dwyer.

UH-OH. Catherine Freeman knows what's coming next. She steadies herself and grasps a young man's offered hand. They lock eyes with a kind of ritual intensity over the heads of a throng of excited children.

The guy takes off his cowboy hat and speaks in simple words thick with emotion. "I like to thank you how you run for us and what you say for us." With that, he's gone. He won't be her last mystery admirer.

It's more than athletic prowess that makes Freeman an Australian hero. There was an implicit, profound back story to her sporting achievements that amplified every result since she raised the Aboriginal flag at the Commonwealth Games in Canada in 1994.

She tells the story herself in Cos I'm Free, tomorrow night's episode of Message Stick. Her first credit as associate producer marks her professional debut as a filmmaker and what she wants to say is about faith and family rather than cultural identity.

"I didn't know much about her story," says producer/director Lou Glover, who met Freeman 18 months ago and quickly became a close friend.

[b]"I was just amazed at the effect that she has on everybody, walking down the street. She brings out the love in people. People just light up and shine. It's incredible to see.[/b]

"Then, when I learned of that driving force of her sister, Anne-Marie, any sort of storyteller could see it's got all the elements."

Anne-Marie Freeman was born with cerebral palsy. She died of an asthma attack in 1990, three days after her younger sister won her first gold medal at the Auckland Commonwealth Games. At her funeral, Freeman swore aloud that every race she ran thereafter would be for Anne-Marie.

"I think the pain is always there. It's a sort of a fire, right there, all the time," Freeman says, digging her fist into her chest. "But I manage it really well. I use it to my advantage.

"You know how people say someone is like the wind beneath their wings? Well she's like a tornado. She gave me so much when she was alive and she's giving me so much more than I ever could have imagined, even though she's no longer in this world."

A visit to the hospital facility in Rockhampton where Anne-Marie spent the last years of her life is one of the most revealing scenes in Cos I'm Free.

What's remarkable is the way in which Freeman turns ...

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Postby brettz9 » Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:15 am

Dear Shm,

Besides the quotations onepence provided, I think that your general question about sports was addressed in some quotations in this posting and in the article of Shoghi Effendi referenced in that thread. There are also a number of quotations on physical education (see Lights of Guidance). So, sports and physical activity are quite encouraged.

However, lest one be tempted to question whether this be limited to cooperative games, consider the following:

In creation there is no evil; all is good. Certain qualities and natures innate in some men and apparently blameworthy are not so in reality. For example, from the beginning of his life you can see in a nursing child the signs of greed, of anger and of temper. Then, it may be said, good and evil are innate in the reality of man, and this is contrary to the pure goodness of nature and creation. The answer to this is that greed, which is to ask for something more, is a praiseworthy quality provided that it is used suitably. So if a man is greedy to acquire science and knowledge, or to become compassionate, generous and just, it is most praiseworthy. If he exercises his anger and wrath against the bloodthirsty tyrants who are like ferocious beasts, it is very praiseworthy; but if he does not use these qualities in a right way, they are blameworthy.
Then it is evident that in creation and nature evil does not exist at all; but when the natural qualities of man are used in an unlawful way, they are blameworthy. So if a rich and generous person gives a sum of money to a poor man for his own necessities, and if the poor man spends that sum of money on unlawful things, that will be blameworthy. It is the same with all the natural qualities of man, which constitute the capital of life; if they be used and displayed in an unlawful way, they become blameworthy. Therefore, it is clear that creation is purely good.

('Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 215)

I think we make a big mistake to undermine competition--one of the most powerful motivators of human behavior. It is how it is directed that is important. You may have heard the quotation of Bahá'u'lláh that we should "Vie ye with each other in the service of God and of His Cause. This is indeed what profiteth you in this world, and in that which is to come. " (cited in Advent of Divine Justice). Of course, this does not mean making a public show of our services or stepping over others to do them! There are quite a few other examples where Shoghi Effendi even attempted to stir a competitive spirit among different communities (e.g., America "vs." Europe, Pacific Islanders "vs." Africans ("vs." used of coursetongue-in-cheek)) to see who would excel in services to the Faith (I can try to find them if you are not familiar with them). And what is this, really, other than a positively directed competition?

To take the specific examples you mention, a certain degree of this, like playful teasing with a friend, I think, is harmless or fun. As competition is such a basic drive in human beings, its good use, I think is toward bettering ourselves--including in the physical domain. On the other hand, God "wisheth not the humiliation of His servants.", and as you say rejects pride. The extremes in sports and showmanship shown in some countries or by some individuals are certainly to be avoided.

As far as what it renders to God (which is really a service to ourselves, as it is all that it can be) is the development of our bodies, the energization of our minds and spirits, and forming of friendships. I think athletes can also render a service in providing us a model of gracefulness--another virtue ('Abdu'l-Bahá speaks of the gracefulness in physical things as well, as in a motion or even a straight line). I think we really, really need to widen our idea of what is from God--and without reviewing the Writings, we won't be aware of all the equally important areas in which God wishes us to enjoy these things of this world (without on the other hand twisting that to our detriment)--so it is a good start by asking these questions!

However, the House of Justice does refer us to the danger of excess in this area as in all others:

On page 25 of "The Advent of Divine Justice" the beloved Guardian is describing the requirements not only of chastity, but of "a chaste and holy life" – both the adjectives are important. One of the signs of a decadent society, a sign which is very evident in the world today, is an almost frenetic devotion to pleasure and diversion, an insatiable thirst for amusement, a fanatical devotion to games and sport, a reluctance to treat any matter seriously, and a scornful, derisory attitude towards virtue and solid worth. Abandonment of "a frivolous conduct" does not imply that a Bahá'í must be sour-faced or perpetually solemn. Humour, happiness, joy are characteristics of a true Bahá'í life. Frivolity palls and eventually leads to boredom and emptiness, but true happiness and joy and humour that are parts of a balanced life that includes serious thought, compassion and humble servitude to God, are characteristics that enrich life and add to its radiance.

Shoghi Effendi's choice of words was always significant, and each one is important in understanding his guidance. In this particular passage, he does not forbid "trivial" pleasures, but he does warn against "excessive attachment" to them and indicates that they can often be "misdirected". One is reminded of `Abdu'l-Bahá's caution that we should not let a pastime become a waste of time.

(From a letter dated 8 May 1979 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, emphasis added)

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I see sports as a farce

Postby majnun » Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:28 pm


Watching any sport-show on tv is a way
to become inactive, a way to put our
brain to sleep. Another twist in this
tv sports "religion", is that most
watchers look for heroes,
making idols out of them.

So the association
with beer seems a natural thing (brain anesthesy).
The same happens if you participate
in group and assist to a football or baseball game.
Winning or loosing, professionals win nothing at
all, except your dollars, base on you personal
hope to win, by a psychological projection.

This is contary to bahai ways.
But you may have seen it recently,
the olympic games is just a way to boost
national prides, on the tv sets and in the news.

Should you not study persian instead of watching TV ?



Postby CJ » Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:13 pm


I thought Baha'u'llah said that learning languages was a waste of time.

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Postby majnun » Sat Mar 11, 2006 3:13 am

Ahh ?
Where did you see that ?



Postby CJ » Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:57 am

One day, while in Constantinople, Kamal Pasha visited this Wronged One. Our conversation turned  138  upon topics profitable unto man. He said that he had learned several languages. In reply We observed: "You have wasted your life. It beseemeth you and the other officials of the Government to convene a gathering and choose one of the divers languages, and likewise one of the existing scripts, or else to create a new language and a new script to be taught children in schools throughout the world. They would, in this way, be acquiring only two languages, one their own native tongue, the other the language in which all the peoples of the world would converse. Were men to take fast hold on that which hath been mentioned, the whole earth would come to be regarded as one country, and the people would be relieved and freed from the necessity of acquiring and teaching different languages."

(Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 137)

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Postby Hasan » Sat Mar 11, 2006 1:00 pm

To me, “to watch sports” is just one of among others entertainment activities as watch films, theatre or TV shows. But, we should remember that any "excess" is always perjudicial, It is sick to be a "couch potato", spending hours in front of the TV (no matter if one is watching Barcelona’s Ronaldinho
Instead of watching sports, better is "TO PLAY" any sport!!!

PS. I Should quote the Kitab-i-Aqdas # 33, and Synopsis's prohibitions:

O people of Baha! It is incumbent upon each one
of you to engage in some occupation--such as a craft, a
trade or the like. We have exalted your engagement in
such work to the rank of worship of the one true God.
Reflect, O people, on the grace and blessings of your
Lord, and yield Him thanks at eventide and dawn.
Waste not your hours in idleness and sloth, but occupy
yourselves with what will profit you and others. Thus
hath it been decreed in this Tablet from whose horizon
hath shone the day-star of wisdom and utterance. The
most despised of men in the sight of God are they who
sit and beg. Hold ye fast unto the cord of means and
place your trust in God, the Provider of all means.

xxi. Idleness and sloth

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Postby majnun » Sat Mar 11, 2006 6:56 pm

Yep CJ, I remember that line now.
It is obvious from this translation that
the individual in question boasted about
knowing several langages.

But the question was about watching sports on TV.
Watching how the world turns is a personal choice.
and is not always negative, but ecoming addicted to it
is what is strange about it.

Sports professionals win nothing, excepts our dollars,
and sometimes, an inflated pride (i.e boasting).


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Postby shm » Sun Mar 12, 2006 10:08 am

Is everything that we do in our lives have to have a spiritual significance to it. Being "bigoted puritanism" is not good, and nor is a "fanatical devotion to games and sport", whatever we do has to be in moderation. But watching sports like a basketball game where people stare down or flex there muscles if they shot a three pointer at the buzzer, and flowing along with it, meaning that ur not thinking "what did the guy do. All he did was dunk the ball and hes yelling as if he lifted a mountain", and ur flowing along with it so if u see a dunk the way ull react to it is "did u see that, that was sick(slang for amazing), he posterized him, if I got dunked on like that I would go home and cry", is it wrong to flow along and react to things like a dunk the way most people do, or does this type of reaction to a dunk show that ur ignorant, and spiritually low and that ur praising something that is absolutely meaningless in the eyes of God. Is watching a sports game similar to sitting in a bar with other people and flowing along and drinking beer except that there is no law in the bahai faith that says ur not allowed to watch sports but there is a law that says ur not allowed to drink beer.

For instance lets say someone has a favourite NBA team, and they like to watch all there games especially during the last minutes of the game, is this a wrong thing to do? The reason Im asking this is cuz watching a basketball game has no spiritual significance to it, so would this just be a waste of time in the eyes of God. Cuz Im wondering when you die and u go to the other world, when u look back down at ur life and u see that u spent a some of the time in ur life to watching basketball games, how are u going to react to it, is it going to be like "oh I wasted my time doing something that had absolutely no spiritual significance to it, and I gained nothing out of it, why did I waste my time watching this game" or will u just look at it as something that was neutral meaning that it was neither bad nor good.

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Postby onepence » Sun Mar 12, 2006 10:31 am

"no one knows what his own end shall be"


"But I mean that this limitless universe is like the human body, all the members of which are connected and linked with one another with the greatest strength."


"To conclude: the beings, whether great or small, are connected with one another by the perfect wisdom of God, and affect and influence one another."


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Postby onepence » Sun Mar 12, 2006 10:38 am


Hi there.

there is definitely a hierarchy in all things.

Sports/basketball is a place of gathering for the commoner,
the Palace is for the courtiers.

There is nothing wrong in traveling with the commoners
nor is it necessarily grand to sit in attendance at the Palace.

Home is where the heart is.


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