Fitness in Islam
By: By Zaheer Soofie

Fitness in Islam

By Zaheer Soofie

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Salutations be on our Master Muhammed S.A.W. “All of a man’s happiness is in his being the master of his ego, while all his suffering is in his ego being his master.” (Imam al Ghazali). Before we are athletes we are first muslims. Whether we like it or not, the way we act tells people about the religion we follow. It is our duty to try and follow the sunnah of our master Nabi S.A.W in every aspect of our lives. The training enviroment is not devoid of this.

Those who Allah has gifted with physical prowess or who have worked to develop a certain skill set should acknowledge that this 'gift' has come only because Allah willed it upon us. Training itself is a blessing from Allah. A lot of people go their entire lives not knowing the feeling of complete satisfaction that a good training session brings about. We must remember to always carry the ‘adab’ that islam requires of us in the training environment as well. This does not also mean that we should be hasty in our judgement of other brothers and sisters in the training environment.

My past experiences have shown me that the strongest or best athletes do not necessarily have over-inflated egos. Although their exterior displays might seem to some as arrogance, their humble nature and other polished aspects of their character more than made up for it.

Below I have listed various philsophies from just a few of the many contemporary fitness enthusiasts who I have come to admire and take knowledge from, who are instrumental in showing us how islam has shaped their behaviour as athletes:

“As a Muslim, I feel a sense of unwavering strength that naturally comes with belonging to the faith. So applying it to training is easy. It's an energy that you feel with everything, a connectedness to all that allows you to tap into a very disciplined mindset. Without Islam I would not be the athlete I am today because Islam teaches you how to take control of yourself and not become a slave to your thoughts and feelings thus helping you to break through barriers otherwise unbreakable.”
~Personal trainer and fitness athlete Neelam Effendi

“Islam taught me to be disciplined and also it taught me that there is a reward if I could adhere to the rules, so in this way if a muslim has the discipline to pray five times a day at a stipulated time or to fast an entire month then surely you would have the discipline to eat your meals and train on time. The mercy that Islam has instilled in the hearts of every Muslim also pushed me to be open with people at the gym with regard to helping others and giving advice when asked etc. Islam also influenced the way we manage to lead a balanced life even though we consider ourselves gym junkies, simply due to the fact that Islam is a religion of equality and moderation.”
~Fitness athlete Aslam Jeewa

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