In Islam, sports are perceived as important ways to gain a healthy body. Sports such as archery, swimming and horseback riding are especially encouraged. Islam encourages exercise and being in good physical shape. The Prophet said, “A strong believer is better and dearer to Allah Azawajala than a weak believer, though in both is good.” The one who is physically stronger is better before Allah Azawajala because they are more active and energetic in the performance of worship and taking care of the needs of others.
Entertainment in Islam
Wondering what should a person do in his free time other than ibadat? What form of entertainment does Islam permit Muslims? Here are some of the accepted ways to spend your leisure time.
#1 spending time with your spouse
Spending time with one’s family and having fun together is a major factor in keeping the family united and close. It develops trust and love for each other and brings peace to the household.
True Muslims find peace and enjoyment at home with their own families and therefore they do not have need to escape from them to be entertained. This family unity is quickly eroding in the modern age with each family member wanting to live a separate life.
Sadly, although the members of a family may live under one roof, they may not even meet to share a meal together. If we are to revive the unity of our families, we must revive the concept of family time.
The Prophet ﷺ has said:
“Any act devoid of the remembrance of Allah is void except four: shooting, training a horse, playing with one’s family and swimming.
(Recorded by Bayhaqi and at-Tabarâni with a good chain of narrators)
Our beloved Prophet ﷺ said all Muslim men and women should learn to swim in case of an emergency like flooding. We should teach our children how to swim at an early age, but swimming should be considered a very private event in the family with proper bathing suits. Immediately after swimming lessons are finished the children should wear their regular long, loose, modest Islamic clothing.
On the authority of Jaabir who narrated that Muhammad ﷺ said:
“Teach your sons the shooting of the arrows.”
The Sahaba used to practice archery regularly, they would have two targets on opposite ends and they would shoot at one target and would walk towards the target to retrieve their arrows. Then they would turn around to shoot the opposite target. Even in their old age they never gave up on their practice and it entertained them.
Horse riding is perfectly allowed in Islam. The companions of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ used to ride horses all the time
Today horse riding is one of the three manly sports in Mongolia, wrestling and archery being the other two.
I hope we strive to revive the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. If the Mongols should take it on, why are we as Muslims abandoning such Sunnah that will keep us fit and healthy?