Islam is a fun religion. In Islam, the main purpose of human creation is indeed to do good deeds, worshiping Allah SWT, and collect as many rewards as possible. The first two things are the fastest way to gain rewards from Allah SWT, so that later they will be able to enter Jannah.
But Islam is a holistic religion. Not only worshiping Allah, body health and joy are also the main concern of Islam. Gaining a healthy body as well as having joy while doing it can be done through sport. In Islam, there is one particular sport that the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself advised, being the archery.
“O Bani Isma`il ! Practice archery as your father Isma`il was a great archer. Keep on throwing arrows and I am with Bani so-and-so.” (Bukhari)
The Shahabah used to practice archery even after the gets old. The archery skills passed down through generation as the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated, “Teach your sons the shooting of the arrows.”
Every suggested deed in Islam has its own purpose and surprisingly beneficial for Muslims themselves. Here are many of the benefits of archery in Islam.
1. Improving Body Coordination
Archery may use the hand strength a lot, but it actually requires a good coordination between the eyes and hand. Both has to perform different tasks from aiming to firing the arrows. On the first try, it’s impossible to have a good coordination but it will get better over time with many practices. When the body has found its balance, the arrow shooting gets more accurate. Also read: How to Improve Health in Islam
2. Make Hands and Fingers More Flexible
As the hands and fingers are used a lot in the archery, the more practice we do, the stronger our hands and fingers will be. More than that, our hands get more flexible since they are fully used for aiming the target and firing the arrows.
3. Build the Body Strength
While practicing archery, the upper body parts is the most used: arms, hands, chest, core, and shoulder. We need to gather all the strength to make a proper shoot. Archery is similar with weightlifting where we rely on the upper body. With repeated practice, the upper body muscles developed and we can gain more strength. Also read: Signs of Strong Iman
4. Increasing Patience
Patience is one of the many quality a Muslim should possess, since the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a patient man. But patience is not something we can gain instantly unless we have practiced it over time. One way to increase out patience is by doing archery.We have to be patient while doing archery since what we need is precision not speed. To hit the target, we should aim properly and calmly.
5. Increasing Focus
One of the most advantageous benefits of archery in Islam is improvement in focus. To be successful in hitting the target, we have to tune out any distractions around and focus only on the target. This increasing focus helps us to cope with the difficult situation in the daily life. Also read: Rules of Seeking Knowledge in Islam
6. Improving Confidence
There are many archery competition all over the world, from the regional level to the most precious level such as in Olympic. An archer should be up in competing with other archers. Confidence is all they need the secure the win. They’re going to practice hard to improve their technique so that their self esteem will boost up, knowing that they have become better.
7. Building the Social Network
Doing archery is not fun when we have no friends. We should gather some people with similar interest and practice archery together. It’s why archery said to be a social sport. We can gain new friends through archery and build a stronger teamwork with our friends. Also read: How to Choose Good Friends in Islam
8. Exercising the Body
Any form of of sport we do, we are exercising our body while doing it. An archer, for example, they walk about 8 km in every competition while carrying the heavy equipment in their shoulders. Carrying the bow could burn about 140 calories every 30 minutes. The archer’s body is perfectly fit and healthy.
9. As a Relaxation
Sports are good not only to maintain the body health but also an exercise to a healthier mind. Archery can release the stress hormones inside the body and make it more relax. Aiming to a target, releasing arrows, watching it fly and hit the target are such sight to relieve stress. Also read: How to Meditate in Islam
10. A General Sport for All
Everyone with any age and body condition can do archery. In the past, the Prophet’s shahabah were all practicing archery regardless of their age. Even man in their old age still practice archery to gain many of the benefits from it.
11. Doing Good Deeds Through Archery
The Prophet (peace be upon him) had suggested Muslims to do archery himself. Following the Prophet’s step considered as a good deed in Islam, so we we can be counted as doing on through archery. Also read: Ways To Earn Good Deeds In Islam
12. A Sport That the Prophet Liked
Every Muslims obsessed to live the Prophet’s life as much as possible. It can be started by doing the things he used to do. As the Prophet liked archery, as his followers we should practice one.
After reading all the benefits of archery in Islam, we come to realize that the sport has a long history with Islam. As it was suggested by the Prophet (peace be upon him), we can start to learn archery from now and gaining all the benefits we could.