Sakinah Sunnah Sports is an initiative to introduce to the community the sports or physical activities that were practiced and encouraged by our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his noble companions.
The concept of a healthy mind, body and soul are central to our deen and engaging in prophetic physical activities is not only a source of wellbeing for the body but also an act of worship through emulating the best of creation ﷺ.
Physical activities inculcate self-discipline and character refinement, which are central qualities of the believer. Engagement in these activities is supposed to cultivate the art of tempering the human desire, engaging the intellect and controlling anger.
At the Sakinah Institute we hope to revive these sunnah ‘sports’ and encourage the community to participate in the barakah.
“Whoever revives an aspect of my Sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward.”
Reported by al-Tirmidhi
Some of the sports that the Sakinah Institute intend to offer include the following from the hadith of Tabarani:
“Any action without the remembrance of Allah is either a diversion or heedlessness excepting four acts: Walking from target to target [during archery practice], training a horse, playing with one’s family, and learning to swim.”
Reported by Tabarani
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Wrestling)
On the authority of Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn Rukaanah, who said, "Verily Rukaanah wrestled the Prophet ﷺ., and the Prophet ﷺ. took him down."
Sayyiduna Hasan and Sayyiduna Hussain (may Allah be pleased with them both), the grandsons of the Prophet ﷺ were wrestling in the rawdah shareef (an area between the minbar and burial chamber of the prophet Muhammad ﷺ - regarded as a garden of paradise).
The prophet ﷺ was cheering on Sayyiduna Hasan (may Allah be pleased with him) and Sayidutana Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her) said to her beloved father, the prophet Muhammad ﷺ. “it is as if Hasan is more beloved to you” (as you are cheering for him). The prophet ﷺ responds by saying (to the nearest meaning) – not necessarily as there stands the arch angel Jibreel (upon him be peace) who is cheering on Hussain.”
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art developed over a number of centuries in Japan, more recently refined and popularized by the Gracie family in Brazil (from where it takes the prefix, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ). It is considered part of the grappling family of arts and as such shares technical qualities that constitute a fulfilling of the Prophetic art of Wrestling.
It focuses on taking the opponent to the ground where he/she can be controlled and forced to submit with an exponential variety of chokes and joint locks. This method of training ensures that Jiu-Jitsu remains arguably one of the most effective martial arts because all the techniques used can be practiced regularly against a fully resisting opponent so the student is well aware of how his mind and body will react in a genuine confrontation and can develop a degree of certainty that such techniques will work.
Classes will take place indoors upon a large matted area. There will be a class for absolute beginners and another for intermediate/advanced students. A typical class is made up of a warm-up, specific technique drilling, technique demonstration and sparring.
Wrestling instils discipline and the importance of adhering to principles which are both paramount to an aspiring believer. By mastering these skills, one naturally will develop the potential to excel in religious obligations and duties that relate to God and His dependents.
It also imparts lessons on how to cope with adversity and positively address challenges faced in one’s life.
Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet ﷺ. said, “Hold on tight to archery as this is better for you”. Or he said, “It is the best from your games”.
at-Targheeb wa at-Tarheeb
The Prophet ﷺ. is known to have encouraged his companions to learn and practice archery. In fact there are many hadith in which he mentions archery.
The physical elements of archery use all parts of the body and assist in developing fit, strong and robust athletes. The act of aiming helps the mind ignore distractions, set one’s sites and have clarity of purpose. Archery teaches patience, forbearance and concentration.
Students will be taken through the different routines prior to being introduced to bows and shooting. Students will then build on these techniques, gradually working up to being able to shoot whilst walking and running.
It is said the great Imam Shafi was so proficient in archery he would be able to write his name with arrows ‘Muhammad ibn Idrīs al-Shāfiʿī’
Horse Riding (Equestrian)
In a hadith narrated from Sayyiduna Ibn Umar (R.A) in which our beloved Prophet ﷺ. said ”Teach your children swimming, archery and horse riding”. (Sahih Muslim)
Allah’s messenger ﷺ said:
“There is always goodness in horses till the Day of Resurrection” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
Particularly amongst Muslims in the Western World ‘Horse Riding’ is an almost forgotten Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammed.
Students will be able to develop their riding technique and make progress. In addition, novices including those who may have never mounted a horse before will be given the assistance needed to learn how to ride.
There are numerous references in the teachings of Islam that recommend swimming. We read that Prophet Muhammad learned how to swim in Madinah during his childhood; he encouraged the Companions who migrated to Abyssinia during the Makkan Period; he stated that he was pleased with those who knew how to swim. Umar emphasized the importance of swimming by saying: “Teach your children how to swim.”
Swimming is a full-body exercise that utilizes, strengthens and tones major muscle groups within a person’s body. It improves the overall flexibility and strengthens the muscles. It’s a great cardio workout involving stretching and lengthening your body.
Sakinah Institute aims to create a halal environment to swim.
Ibn Abbas reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “There are two blessings which many people waste: health and free time.”