The Sacred Origin and Nature of Sports and Culture – HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad


This unique study seeks to define two much-discussed aspects of modern society – sports and culture – from a traditional perspective, carefully examining their sacred origin and their relevance throughout history in philosophical and religious thought.

In “The Philosophy Behind Sports,” the author explores both the history of sports and their potential connection with a higher or spiritual ideal (as in Zen archery), then discusses the importance – and abuses – of sports in contemporary society.

He concludes: “Let it be said that sports are sacred or religious in origin, noble in nature, but secularized, abused, and misunderstood in the modern world, and that this is a great shame that could easily be rectified by awareness of their true origin and nature.” Also included is an appendix on the ancient symbolism of the game of chess.

Product Description

In “What Is Culture?,” he similarly deconstructs the idea of culture, one of the most “thoroughly discussed and laboriously examined” concepts of the modern era since the Renaissance. Going far beyond the simplistic definition of culture as “pertaining to the fine arts” or a mere sociological construct, he posits the idea of a culture as an intellectual refinement that individuals as well as societies “cultivate” within and pass on through tradition.

Not content to merely examine the cultures of the past, the author goes on to suggest what a proper understanding of culture can and should mean for our future: “Culture is the very envelope in which we journey through life, and to ignore it is to ignore the way in which this journey is progressing.”

HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal is a professor of Islamic philosophy with PhDs from Al-Azhar University and the University of Cambridge. He has held numerous official and nongovernmental positions in Jordan, including chief advisor for religious and cultural affairs to HM King Abdullah II. His writings include Love in the Holy Quran. His projects include,, and, which seek to make the jewels of Islamic civilization available to all at no cost.

H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad was educated at Harrow School, received his B.A. from Princeton University summa cum laude and his Ph.D. from Trinity College, Cambridge University. He was Cultural Secretary to H.M. King Hussein of Jordan.

Other books by the author:
•A Thinking Person’s Guide to Love (in English) (Turath Publishing), 2023. ISBN 978-1-90-6949-36-5
•A Thinking Person’s Guide to Our Reality (in English) (Turath Publishing), 2023. ISBN 978-1-90-6949-36-5
•The Litanies of Love (in Arabic, with English introduction) (White Thread Press), 2022.
•A Tentative Guide to Islamic Invocations (in English) (Turath Publishing), 2019. ISBN 978-1-906949-35-8
•A Thinking Person’s Guide to the Truly Happy Life (in English) (Turath Publishing), 2018. ISBN 978-1-906949-32-7
•A Tentative Guide to the Themes of the Surahs of the Qur’an (in English) (Turath Publishing), 2018. ISBN 978-1-906949-49-5
•A Thinking Person’s Guide to Islam (in English) (Turath Publishing), UK 2017. ISBN 978-1-906949-30-3
•100 Books on Islam in English and the End of Orientalism (in English) ITS (Islamic Texts Society), UK 2014. ISBN 978-1-903682-88-3
•The Challenges Facing Arab Christians Today (in English and Arabic) MABDA (The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre) and RUTAB, Jordan 2013
•Searching for Consensus (in English and Arabic) MABDA (The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre) and RUTAB, Jordan 2013
•What is Islam, and Why? (in English)[52] ISBN 978-9957-428-58-7
•Love in the Holy Quran (in English),[53] USA, 2013. ISBN 978-1-903682-84-5
•Love in the Holy Qur’an (in Arabic) (الحب في القرآن الكريم) Dar al-Razi, Jordan, 2010. ISBN 978-9957-8533-7-2
•Al-Insan (Man), (et al.; published, in Arabic, by the Jordanian Ministry of Education as the text-book for the 12th Grade National Curriculum for General Studies, Amman, 2001; revised 2nd edition in 2007)
•The Sacred Origin of Sports and Culture (published by Fons Vitae, KY, USA, 1998). ISBN 1-887752-13-7 (Trans. into Turkish and published by Insan Yayinlari, Istanbul, 2002.)
•Hannibal the Formidable (published by Hesperus Press, 2002). ISBN 978-1843912996.
•The Tribes of Jordan at the Beginning of the Twenty-first Century (published by Turab, Amman, 1999). OCLC 44117926 ASIN B00069WNGO
Co-authored books:
•War and Peace in Islam: The Uses and Abuses of Jihad (in English) MABDA (The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre) and The Islamic Texts Society, Jordan, 2013. Edited by HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, Professor Ibrahim Kalin, and Professor Mohammad Hashim Kamali. ISBN 978-1-903682-83-8
•A Common Word, Muslims and Christians on Loving God and Neighbor (Editor with Volf and Yarrington) Eerdmans Publishing House Co. 2010[56] ISBN 978-0802863805
•True Islam and the Islamic Consensus on the Message of Amman / Kitab Ijma’ Al-Muslimin ‘ala Ihtiram Mathahib al-Din (compiler, editor and author of introduction [in Arabic and English]; The Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Amman, Jordan, 2006).ISBN 9957-8533-4-1 (Limited 1st, 2nd and rev. 2nd edition published as: The Book of the Schools of Islamic Jurisprudence / Kitab Ihtiram Al-Mathahib; The Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Amman, Jordan, 2006.)
•The Holy Sites of Jordan (ed.; published by Turab, Amman, 1996; 2nd edition 1999). ISBN 978-9957851323



"From the very start, Prince Ghazi's provocative study awakens my interest in learning more about this grounded and universal approach to culture and sports. We should all be grateful to him for it."
David Appelbaum, Parabola
"This scholarly and original work is the first to apply traditional principles to the study of 'sports' and 'culture' by whose desacralized versions today's world is so mesmerized. All those concerned with the appraisal, critique, and evaluation of the diverse aspects of the modern world in light of tradition will be interested in reading this elegantly written treatise."
Seyyed Hossein Nasr