Ok so I’ve discarded the pink template. Green is much nicer to the eyes no? :)
Anyway, guess what? My work place is having a fitness test for its staff members soon! LOL. And yours truly has been selected as one of the committee members to ensure the smooth running of the said test. (Double LOL!) My colleagues and I had a good laugh during our committee meeting as for most of us, climbing a flight of stairs can be considered as a form of strenuous exercise! If you think that we can skip the test as we are the ones who will be keeping the time and all that – you are so wrong! We still have to run. Hehe
I used to play netball A LOT. There was a time when I played netball for three hours non-stop for two consecutive days and was still able to walk without wincing on the third day. And now? Hmmmm lets just say my netball-ball (??) is collecting dust somewhere in my cupboard right now. Oh and umm I played netball with a bunch of teenagers a couple of weeks ago and could only last for 5 mins. Oh alright…3 mins actually :p. Believe me my heart was beating so furiously that I thought it would burst. Erk. Am I getting old? Or maybe the girls were too good. Yeah must be that they were really good. Hehe. But the point is, I truly need to start my training regime soon or else I might fail the fitness test. Oh the shame!
But I digress. After reading quite a number of health blogs and seeing an increasing number of people running around the stadium area everyday, I thought I might as well talk about sports in Islam.
In Islam, we are expected to look after our own health. We need to keep fit to enable us to do our religious as well as worldly duties. The Prophet SAW said:
“Allah lebih menyayangi orang Mukmin yang kuat dari yang lemah, namun keduanya adalah baik (disisi Allah)” (Muslim)
“The strong believer is better and more loved by Allah than the weak one, but they are both good.” (Muslim).
We, Muslims need to be strong both mentally and physically especially now when the enemies are trying hard to pound on us from every direction. At least if we appear strong, they will think twice before they bug us.
Islam stresses the importance of both spiritual and moral training and both of these can be found in team sports. Through team sports we learn to trust our team mates, to support each other, to accept each others’ flaws, to share those new strategies/moves. We also learn to be punctual for trainings, to obey our coach or team captain as well as to follow any rules that has been set. In other words, we learn to become a better ummah through team sports.
Unfortunately, through team sports and any other sports for that matter, we can also learn to forget the prayer times, to ignore the call of the Azan, to forget to cover our aurah as well as to fight with other teams that managed to beat us in the last tournament.
There truly are two sides to every coin. But the key here is our own deen or iman that should be able to rule our ability to make choices. To choose to either start a catfight with your opponent for beating you or to simply shake their hands, say your congratulations and accept defeat with pride. To choose to either continue kick that ball when you hear the call of the Maghrib prayer or to immediately head home, take your shower and pray. If we choose Islam over anything in our life, then decision making shouldn’t be that difficult for us. Islam itu mudah dan indah.
Prophet Muhammad SAW once said:
“Teach your children swimming, archery and horse-riding.” (Ibn Majah and Nasai)
“Ajarlah anak kamu berenang, memanah serta menunggang kuda.: (Ibn Majah dan Nasai).
So if we learn any of the three sports mentioned above, we are actually following the Prophet’s sunnah. Isn’t that nice? We get rewarded for having fun. However, we must make sure that we properly cover our aurah when we do sports especially when there are non-mahrams around. So girls, swimming in your swimming suit in the same swimming pool with the boys is a no-no. Besides, I think the swimming pool at the stadium is open for the ladies only every Tuesday (or issit Wednesday?). Once a week is better than nothing right?
Before I end this post, let me just include the response of a Muslim scholar regarding body-building. I think his response is applicable not only to the Muslim body-builders out there and those who are interested in body-building but also to all of us who are involved in sports in one way or another.
Salafi scholar Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid has made the following
statement in response to this question: "What is the ruling on our body building
in Islam? Are we allowed to put our bodies in structures like the wrestlers so
long as we don't show it out and it's to our own good?"
"Praise be to Allah. Bodybuilding aims to make the body strong and sound, which is an important and desirable goal. If the purpose of sport is to prepare the body to
be fit to carry out the duty of jihad so as to make the word of Allah supreme, then sport is essential... If the aim is relaxation and maintaining good health, then sport is permissible. If it involves something haraam, such as missing prayers, uncovering any part of the ‘awrah or mixing with women and so on, then it is haraam.
Those who engage in bodybuilding uncover their ‘awrah when practicing this sport, which is undoubtedly haraam. The ‘awrah of a man extends from the navel to the knee, and it is not permissible for him to uncover it in front of anyone other than his wife. It is also not permissible for him to look at the ‘awrah of anyone else.
Some of those who engage in this sport are motivated by self-admiration and love of pride and showing off before others because of their beautiful bodies and strong muscles… and other bad motives, some of which are worse than others. The believer should shun such things and seek the adornment of good attitude, humility and fairness.
Going to extremes in making the body look good and being concerned with that is not a good thing. What is good in this regard is that which helps the Muslim to maintain good health, to practise Islam, to engage in jihad for the sake of Allaah and to do the acts of worship which require physical strength such as Hajj.
But doing more than that and going to extremes usually distracts the Muslim from doing things that are more important, as happens in the case of those who practise many kinds of sports nowadays, so you see them training for many hours each day.
What benefit can a Muslim gain if his body is as strong as a bull, but his heart is devoid of faith and all virtue?
Yup, that last statement is worth thinking about….