Saturday, September 12, 2009

Muslim Women in Sports

The Need for Sport

Men and women alike are in need of sport and exercise. Physical fitness is certainly encouraged, just as a balanced diet is endorsed, and harmful substances are prohibited. Exercise is also conducive to a more balanced emotional state, as it aids in the release of harmful free radicals and excess hormones. Mundane routines must also be broken otherwise it could affect a women's input into society, as well as her relationship with her husband and family.
The Sahaabah were aware of these issues, and would exhort others for the same. 'Ali bin Abi Talib (r.a.a) said: "Refresh your minds from time to time, for a tired mind becomes blind." Abu Darda` (r.a.a) also commented: "I entertain my heart with something trivial in order to make it stronger in the service of the Truth."
The Prophet (s.a.w) advised his followers to engage in many forms of sport, which even today are considered of the best form of exercise. The Prophet (s.a.w) himself would engage in wrestling, racing, archery and horse races.
While Aisha (r.a.a) was on a journey along with the Apostle of Allah (s.a.w), she had a race with him and outpaced him. As time passed, the Prophet (s.a.w) wished to avenge for his loss, so he raced her again, in which case he outpaced her, and remarked: "This is for that outpacing."
The benefits derived from sport can not be denied. Not only do they have physical and social benefits, but also essential psychological consequences. Since sport is also a compulsory part of the curriculum in all schools, it is important to address the many Islamic conflicts that us sisters may face.
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