If you think that the Muslims are the bearded men with veiled women who can do nothing except practice restrictions in their lives, then it’s utterly wrong. Islam is the religion of peace security and equality. It is not the sole name of supplications Ibadahs and five times prayers. The Muslims are not only recognized as Hajjis or Umrah pilgrims who perform their Hajj and Umrah in their holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. Islam also taught sportsmanship. This is one of the famous sports encouraged during the early days of Islam; archery . Archery in Islam gained a significant place in Islamic society as an Islamic sport.
Islam is not religion alone. It is a complete way of living a successful life that has been taught by the last Messenger and the Prophet of Islam Mohammad (SAW). He (SAW) is a role model for every living being in this universe.
Sunnah- The Life of Prophet (SAW)
Furthermore, He (SAW) owns an unprecedented place in the hearts of Muslims who commemorate him and his life with every single breath. His life with every action is known as the Sunnah. No doubt that he (SAW) is the Prophet of a religion. He (SAW) was an optimistic human being as well with a loving and lively nature. He (SAW) has beautifully taught us how to keep a balance between our World (Dunya) and Religion (Deen). He (SAW) has never advocated complete seclusion from worldly affairs and pleasures. History proves that no one is or was more compassionate, God-Fearing, and Religious than him. He is regarded by Allah (SAW) as the “Mercy for the whole of Mankind”.
Archery in Islam
Archery is not a sport introduced by Islam or Muslims. But this sport has gained a special status in Islam as the prophet encouraged his followers toward this sport. And hence Muslims consider it as an Islamic sport.
Sunnah like an Ibadah in Islam
Along with the religious affairs the Holy Prophet (SAW) liked his followers to participate in the Sports and Games prevalent in Arabia during those times. One of them is Archery which was a part of his life. So we can safely call it the Sunnah sport which is still being practiced in Saudi Arabia with a true sportive spirit. So the learning and practice of this interesting Arabian sport equal the performance of Ibadah for sure. Because the performance of any Sunnah is similar to an Ibadah to get Allah’s will and agreement. Archery in Islam has been practiced for centuries as a Sunnah sport or Islamic sport.
Arab Sports in Prophet Mohammad (SAW)’s Time
The Holy Prophet (SAW) has always supported those sports and games which have the military and health benefits for mankind. The Arab Sports before and during his time were Horse Riding, Archery, walking, and swimming. He (SAW) himself was very good with a ‘Bow’.
An Arab Recurved Bamboo bow used in Prophet’s time is also placed in the Turkish Museum of Istanbul which epitomizes the significance of Archery in Islam.
The Islamic historians write that the Islamic Last Prophet (SAW) had six bows named as Az-Zawra, ar-Rauha, as-Safra, al-Bayda, and al-Katum. These were used in Battles. The name of his (SAW) quiver was Al-Kafur
Archery in Ancient Arabian Battles
Archery was practiced in Arabian battles by the Pagan and Muslim Arabs alike. In the Muslim Holy Book Quran, the word Rammy is used for throwing or Shooting. The Holy Prophet (SAW) had directed his companions to learn the skills of archery to get success in the battles against their enemies.
Story of Mount Uhud and Muslim Archers
During their Hajj and Umrah, Muslims from all over the world visit the Uhud Mountain in Madinah. This Mountain holds a significant place in the Islamic historical and religious contexts. It is the Mount on which the Muslim archers had to fight a Battle of Uhud against the enemies. The Holy Prophet (SAW) ordered the fellow Archers not to leave the Mount unless he told them to do so. But the Muslims didn’t obey his order and left the Mountain.
This Islamic event of Battle Uhud implies the significance of Archery in Islam.
Archery and its Features
Archery is the practice of throwing arrows by using a bow. The word Archery comes from the word Arcus which means bow or arch. The person who learns and practices the archery is called an Archer. The Archery Expert who is very fond of this activity is called a toxophilite – ‘lover of the bow’.
The Skills required for the learning Archery are Precision, Control, Focus Repetition, and Determination. Unlike the other popular sports and games, there is no age limit for the learning and practice of this sport.
Archery and its History
The origin of this sport dates back to the time of the Stone Age- 20,000 BC when the earliest man used to play with sticks and arrows made with Bamboo. The ancient Egyptians used Arrows and Bows frequently in Hunting and Warfare around 3,000 BC.
Archery in Today’s Time
Today in modern times, Archery is a sport that includes five different types:
- Target Archery.
- Field Archery.
- 3D Archery.
Archery in Popular Non-Muslim Countries
The practice of shooting Arrows is also common in popular Non-Muslim countries of China and Japan. In Japan, the famous Japanese Martial Arts known as “kyujutsu” (the art of the bow) contain the features of archery which are meant for physical moral, and spiritual development.
Archery in Modern Saudi Arabia
Being a staunchly Islamic country, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia reverentially organizes the sport of Archery. In Jeddah, the Archery classes are organized to teach the future archers the skills of shooting. To promote this Sunnah Sport, a separate Saudi Archery Federation is established to train the archers.
Benefits of Archery
Islam is mankind friendly religion that advocates the health safety and maintenance of the people. In Islam, those sports which promote peace, harmony, and health benefits are liked and favored. For the same reason, Archery is discussed in Islam. Here are some Incredible benefits of Archery which can increase your interest in this Sunnah sport of the Holy Prophet (SAW).
Creates and Improves Body Coordination
Archery produces beneficial coordination between your eyes and your hand. It improves the Blood Circulation in your brain, one of the reasons the prophet of Islam encouraged it is for.
Archery Makes Hands and Fingers Movements Better
When you use your hands and fingers for aiming your target and shooting arrows, the movement of your hands and fingers is improved. This Islamic sport is better for one’s hand coordination.
Archery Increases the Body’s Strength
Archery requires repetition. The repeated use of hands fingers and eyes creates and improves the strength of your body. In the early days of Islam when Muslims were being attacked for being the people of faith, sports like this were practiced to gain the strength of body and to protect their fellow Muslims.
Archery Improves Patience
It’s not possible for the first time to hit the arrow right at your target. You need much patience for this. So through this art of shooting, you acquire the habit of patience which is beneficial in every walk of your life.