Importance of Recreational Activities

Companions’ Recreation:

Islam instructs a Muslim to live a balanced life; therefore, it is important that one adopt a form of lawful recreation so that they do not become bored or lazy in their religious zeal. The Prophet said: “Let it be an hour and an hour.”

Balancing life is a delicate matter; one must never become oblivious of God. During the early stages of Islam the Companions of the Prophet thought that Islam was a serious religion that had no room for recreational fun. Handhalah bin Hudhaim al-Hanafi said: “Abu Bakr met me and asked: ‘How are you O Handhalah?’ I dejectedly responded: ‘Handhalah has become a hypocrite!’ Abu Bakr surprised by the response, exclaimed: ‘Subhanallah! (Far removed is Allah from every imperfection) Why do you say this?’ Handhalah said: ‘When we are with the Messenger of Allah he reminds us of Heaven and Hell as though we can see it with our own eyes, but when we go back to our families we busy ourselves with our families and forget what he told us.’ Abu Bakr said: ‘Indeed we experience the same thing as well!’ So Abu Bakr and Handhala went to the Prophet to seek guidance in their affair. The Prophet upon hearing what they were concerned with said: ‘By the One in Whose hands is my life, if you were to remain in the same religious condition with your families as you are in my presence Angels would descend from the Heavens to shake your hands! O Handhalah it is indeed an hour and an hour.’” (Muslim #2750)

This refers to dividing one’s time properly and taking a break. The Prophet went beyond this and indicated to all Muslims that bringing happiness to the lives of your family members and making them feel appreciated isn’t only a good act, but one that is highly rewarding in the sight of God! The Prophet said: “Anything that is not considered from the remembrance of Allah is a form of idle play except for four things: When one spends time with his family, when one trains a horse, when one competes in a race and when one learns to swim.’ (Sahih al-Jami #4534)

The cultural perception on ‘having fun’ was changed permanently when the Companions saw the Messenger of Allah practicing what he preached. Jabir bin Samorah said that the Messenger of Allah would not leave the place of prayer until sunrise. When the sun rose, people would converse among themselves, at times they would reminisce about pre-Islamic events and the Prophet would smile. (Muslim #2322)

The Prophet also stressed the importance of taking a break and even obligated upon people to take time off for themselves, whereby they could indulge in lawful recreation. Look at what the Prophet said to Abdullah bin Umar: “O Abdullah, I hear that you perform prayers throughout the night and fast throughout the days?” He said: “Yes that is true, O Messenger of Allah!” The Messenger said to him: “Do not do this, instead fast and don’t fast on certain occasions. Perform prayers and get some rest throughout the night as well, for indeed your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you, your wife has a right over you and your guests have a right over you.” (Bukhari #1975)

The Wives of the Prophet and Recreational Fun

The Messenger of Allah was extremely keen to involve his family in recreational fun. When one does this, it would bring about a sense of love and respect among family members. A’ishah said: “The Prophet was sitting and he heard some noise from people and children outside. There was a group of people gathered around some Abyssinians ...

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Issues of Intimacy and Compassion in Islam

Allah, the Exalted, says in the Quran: “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” (30:21) ...

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The Compassion of the Prophet

The Prophet’s loyalty to his family: The Prophet commanded Muslims to approach their wives if they see a woman who stimulates their sexual desire, in order to relieve themselves from this desire in a lawful manner. By doing this a Muslim would safeguard himself from falling into evil, ...