Islam lays emphasis on good health and fitness. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “The strong believer is more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, but there is goodness in both of them.”
To encourage Muslims to play golf, the Muslim Golf Association (MGA) has attracted hundreds of Muslim golfers, achieving huge success as the first association that caters to their faith.
The MGA allows Muslims to play while preserving their faith, allowing prayer breaks, halal food, and no alcohol and gambling.
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“With a game taking three to four hours, there’d be times when I needed to pray. And when we finished, the players would go back to the clubhouse for a drink, and for someone who doesn’t drink alcohol that could be quite uncomfortable,” Amir Malik, the founder of MGA, told The Guardian.
“As much as you might be part of a club, you feel like you’re on the periphery,” he said.
The association now hosts competitions and golf days across Britain at which Muslims can feel welcome and comfortable
In May 2020, the MGA hosted a “Muslim Golf Day”, inviting golfers from Manchester, London, and Scotland to participate in the special interfaith event.
“Since I set up the MGA I’ve met hundreds of Muslim golfers. Some of them now in their 60s and 70s faced a lot of discrimination,” Malik said.
“One guy said no one would play with him. Things have got better, but there’s still a long way to go.”
The association hires clubs and courses for its events. “We quickly get an idea of whether the club is welcoming. It’s clear that some just don’t want us there,” Malik said.
MGA founder also aims at encouraging Muslim women to participate in events.
“White women often feel marginalized and excluded at golf clubs. Imagine what it’s like for women of color, and then on top of that wearing a hijab or niqab?” he added.
“Golf is one of the few sports that conservative Muslim women could feel comfortable – there is no contact, no running, you can wear what you want. Why is the door not open?”
MGA is the world’s first dedicated golfing platform that caters for the modern, professional, Muslim golfer.
The Association has provided a unique platform where Muslims can enjoy golf at world class venues, network & socialize, but most importantly, be inspired.
Malik hopes to take the association to be global.
“I want to take this global, to Muslim countries like Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia. There are billions of Muslims in the world, and I want to get more of them playing golf.”