By: Justin Ducote
As Muslims, we believe Islam is a complete way of life, providing a foundation and framework for all its aspects. In a time when increasing emphasis is being placed upon physical fitness and recreation, we should know how to maximize our benefit from these pursuits in accordance with our Islamic values.
Recreation has always been a part of human existence. It can be a natural break which allows people time for refreshment and clearing the mind. We read in the Qur’ân how the brothers of Prophet Yûsuf used it as a way to appeal to their father:
“Send him with us tomorrow that he may eat well and play” (12:12).
We have many examples from the time of the Prophet during which the companions participated in many different forms of lawful entertainment and play. They engaged in sports like footraces, horseracing, wrestling, and archery. They spent time telling jokes and in lighthearted conversation. One of the Companions, Abû al-Dardâ’ is reported to have said:
“I seek recreation in something that is neither useful nor unlawful, and this makes me stronger on the truth.”