Asalam Alaykum , how are you ? I’m about 28 years of age and really wanting to spend recreation time like on weekends and sometimes week days going 40 minutes to go to dirt hills used for bike riding and jumping and get air . Is there anything haram or makrooh if i spend a few hours a day on saturdays and sundays and sometimes on the weekdays too or this is a waste of time and distracting and misleading interference to my deen of Islam ? Please advise me .
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
It is necessary that a Muslim takes a proactive approach to maintaining one’s Imaan at all times. Enjoyment and relaxation is good, but in doing this, one must never compromise our Islamic way of life.
Islam is a complete way of life wherein all aspects of our day-to-day life have been outlined with comprehensive guidelines, through which a Muslim can attain total happiness and success in this life and the Hereafter. Just as Islam has guided us on matters relating to our beliefs and worship, it has also guided us regarding our ways of relaxation and amusement. As Muslims we must never compromise on our religious beliefs and principles. We must always observe the rules of Shariah in conducting our activities, whether personal and domestic, or in participation with the wider community.
We live in a time which, for many people, sports and amusement has become the most important aspect of life. However, as Muslims, we understand the value of each and every second of our lives and know that there is much more to life than mere amusement and enjoyment. Our Deen teaches us to utilise our time in the most beneficial manner, striving to gain the pleasure of our Creator. However, this does not mean that relaxation and amusement is totally forbidden. Rather, Islam allows and encourages relaxation and amusement within the boundaries laid down by the Shariah. Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) once passed by some people who were playing in Madina, so he stopped by them and I was observing them from between the two ears of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). He said to them: “Carry on playing O Banu Arfida! Let the Jews and Christians know that there is broadness in our religion”. (Kanz al-ummal)
In another narration, he said: “Carry on playing and enjoying your selves, for I dislike harshness to be seen in your religion”. (al-Bayhaqi).
Relaxation and amusement is not the goal in itself. Rather, the purpose is to cheer oneself up, relax the body and refreshen the mind. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) also encouraged certain sports and means of entertainment, he said:
“Every game a person plays is futile except for archery, training one’s horse and playing with one’s wife”. (Sunan Tirmidhi, Sunan Ibn Majah).
In another narration, a fourth sport is also mentioned, “Anything which is not included in the remembrance of Allah is useless and futile (lahw and la’ib) except for four things. Playing with one’s spouse, training one’s horse, walking between two targets (while aiming arrows), and learning how to swim”. (Kanz al-Ummal).
Some Islamic Guidelines
- The sport/entertainment and play should have some religious or worldly (physical, mental) benefits. Otherwise, it will be regarded as useless and a waste of time.
- Anything that distracts or prevents a person from their religious duties (Salaat on time etc.) is Haraam.
- Imitating the Disbelievers in their ways, celebrations, customs, dress etc. is totally forbidden.
- Beware of excessive indulgence and addiction to any type of game or entertainment that will lead to wastage of money and time.
- Abstain from places ofmusic, and immoral persons.
- Must be free from intermingling and mixing between strange, unrelated men and women (Ghair Mahram)
- involve uncovering of the Satr (i.e. those parts of the body which have to be covered)
- Must not cause enmity, harm or hurt to anyone (physically, psychologically, emotionally, financially etc.)
- Must not involve Alcohol and Intoxicants and Gambling.
- Must not lead to any disobedience or ridicule of the laws of Allah Ta’ala or the Sunnah of His Messenger ﷺ
A few recommended forms of entertainment in light of the Sunnah:
• Spending time with one’s spouse and children and the extended family
• Spending financially on one’s family in Halaal avenues.
• Spending time with righteous friends
• Engaging in physical activities, some recommended activities are running races, horse-riding, wrestling, swimming and archery.
• Visiting the beach, nature reserves or other places away from sin, where one can relax and ponder over the creation of Allah
• Reading books and stories that has some religious or academic benefit
• Listening to Islamic discourses or Nasheeds, poems, songs that promote the teachings and morals of Islam
• Note: Technology in itself is permissible; the way it is used determines whether it is good or evil. If it is used correctly then it can be a means of gaining reward, but if used for Haram activities then it becomes sinful and prohibited.
To conclude: we should remember that Allah has given us a balanced religion. We must never forget our purpose of creation and our duties to our Creator and at the same time we should also enjoy the bounties that He has given us in the correct manner.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best.
Mufti Arshad Ali
Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)