Islam encourages anything which is pure and beneficial for men. It encourages a man to be strong and to seek the means of strength. Allah expects Muslims to take care of their bodies to the best of their abilities. Obesity, laziness and weakness are blameworthy afflictions. Islam shows the great importance for sports in training Muslims and making their bodies healthy and strong.
Continuous work makes a person lazy and mentally sick. Sports make a person mentally and physically active. Islam does not oppose having a strong body via practicing sports. The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) stressed regular physical activity and exercise. He encouraged horse riding, swimming, archery, wrestling, running and playing with dolls (for girls).
Islam views sports as a means of enhancing mutual love and co-operation among people so the winning team should never be carried away with joy to the extent of insulting the opponents. Muslims should actively take part in sports, but they should not forget the Islamic teachings. If a person is indulged in sports and ignores his prayers, then he is committing a sin. When the “Adhan” is called Muslims should stop playing and attend their prayers. This should be their first priority.
Many Muslims participate in sports activities, and they are known all over the world because of their achievements. These activities strengthen the relationship of Muslims with other countries. It enables Muslim men and women to compete fairly with their opponents, communicate with each other and promote Islam.
Some societies have a misconception that Islam does not support sports. The truth is Islam supports all the productive things. Islam supports athletic activities, which promote team work and good physical health. In fact, husband and wife can play and exercise together. This is a good way of building love and happiness. The Prophet’s wife Hazrat Aisha (R.A) said;
“I raced with the Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) and beat him in the race. Later, I had put on some weight, I raced him again, and he won. Then he said, ‘This cancels that,’ referring to the previous occasion.”
Islam is a versatile religion offering his followers all types of healthy activities, and when it comes to sports it’s not an exception in Islam. What we need to do is to keep balance. We cannot leave our prayers just because of sports. People, especially in the West, has a wrong perception about Islam. We should study the teachings of Islam more to clear our doubts. This can help in creating mutual bonding and peace in the worl.
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