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Salaams.What exercises/sports were recommended by Rasoollullah S.A.W.?Please quote exact hadith narrations, e.g. of wrestling,swimming,running,shooting,sword,etc.

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Answer

Nabi Sallalaahu alaihi Wasallam advised the Ummah: “Everything with which a mans plays is unlawful, except his shooting of arrows, his training his horse and playing with his wife.
Narrated by Tirmizi (No.1637),Abu Dawud (2513),Ibn Majah(2811) and Hakim (Vol.2 Pg.104)
A Narration in Baihaqi (Vol.10 Pg.15), Tabrani (Vol.2 Pg.193) and Sunanul Kubra of Nasai (Vol.5 Pg.302) adds: “and a man’s learning how to swim.”

Aisha Radhiallahu anha mentions that she had raced Nabi Sallalaahu alaihi Wasallam and beat him. Later on when they raced again Nabi Sallalaahu alaihi Wasallam beat her. Narrated by Ibn Majah (1979) and Ahmed (24163)

Nabi Sallalaahu alaihi Wasallam once wrestled Rukanah Radhiallahu anhu and overpowerede him. Narrated by Abdur Razzaaq (Vol.11 Pg.427)
Some claim that this cannot be used as proof of the desirability of wrestling as Rukanah Radhiallahu anhu had requested the wrestling bout to ascertian whether Nabi Sallalaahu alaihi Wasallam was a true prophet or not.
However,there are other narrations that show that wrestling was common amongst the Sahabah Radhiallahu anhum and they practised it in front of Nabi Sallalaahu alaihi Wasallam without him objecting to it.
A narration in Sharhu Ma’ani’il Aathar of Tahawi (Vol.3 Pg.219) mentions that Samurah ibn Jundub Radhiallahu anhu wrestled an Ansari youngster in front of Nabi Sallalahu alai Wasallam with the permission of Nabi Sallalahu alai Wasallam .

These ahadith mention archery, horse riding, swimming, running and wrestling.
Imam Nawawi Rahmatullahi Alaihi mentions that the ahadith show that one should learn usage of all the different types of weapons, as well as exercising ones limbs for jihad, in addition to racing ones horse etc. (Sharh Muslim Vol.2 Pg.143)

We thus learn that we should exercise our bodies to keep fit. We should also learn how to use the different forms of weapondery available today.

For more detail refer to the book “Islam and sports” by Moulana Afzal Ismail and published by Madrasa Arabia Islamia, Azadville.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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