Ata bin Rabah Radiya-allahu anhu said: I saw Jabir bin Abdullah and Jabir bin Umair al Ansari doing archery while one of them got weared and sat down. The other told him: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say: "Everything that is not remembrance of Allah is in vain except four things: Your walking between your targets, training your horse, playing with your wife, and swimming practice" [Nasa'i – Tabarani]
Improving your body strength with sports and exercise has numerous long term benefits, mentally and physically. Although we keep ourselves healthy with good diets and avoiding bad habits, we must still exercise our bodies due to the change in lifestyles.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) lived a simple life and encouraged keeping fit with regular exercise and sports. Some of the sports the Prophet (peace be upon him) was interested in, include swimming, daggers, archery, horse and camel riding and walking.
There are quite a few sports which are direct recommendations from the sunnah, but we have discovered other sports such as judo and karate which also help the body with a good workout and also increasing strength. They also teach you how to defend yourself if necessary. Teaching the youth alternative sports will help them with self control as well as provide a means to express themselves.
Group sports and exercise brings people together which unifies a range of people from young to old. Keeping the activity to something constructive will help avoid abuse and hooliganism. It would serve as a good example for the youth to see the older sportsmen and sportswomen keep hold of his religious and spiritual values with his lifestyle.
Some of the etiquettes we must observe while exercising or playing a sport include:
- Do not wear tight clothing.
- Do not get angry and abusive.
- Do no waste time playing a sport where sins are committed.
- Games played must not be a form of gambling.
- Extreme sports that are harmful for the human body must be avoided.
- It must not prevent you from your daily worship or fasting.
Some of the benefits of keeping fit and active include increased strength and vitality, improved immune system, decrease in cardiovascular diseases and improved lung function.
"He who holds on firmly to my Sunnah at a time when my Ummah are (grovelling) in corruption will receive a reward of a hundred martyrs."
Abu Hurayrah rahimahullah reported that Allah’s messenger sallalaahu ‘alayhi was sallam said: “When a human being dies, all of his deeds are terminated except for three types: an ongoing sadaqah, a knowledge(of Islaam) from which others benefit, and a righteous child who makes du’aa for him.” (Muslim and others)