The Prophet’s Guidance on Physical Activity
It is a fact that the body relies on food and drink for its survival. It is also a fact that the not all food and nourishment is digested when consumed. Rather, a part of it remains and as time goes by these substances accumulate in various qualities and quantities in the body. These accumulations harm the body because they cause clogs in different vessels and make the body feel heavy. If one gets rid of these substances by extracting them with medication, the body is harmed because most of these medications are toxic to various degrees. In fact, the medication extracts the beneficial substances, the body is harmed when they heat up, spoil, become cold or weaken the natural heat and energy from fully maturing the excess substances.
The clogs caused by the residual substances are harmful whether they remain in the body or get extracted. Moving about is one of the best methods to deny these substances the chance to accumulate. Moving heats the organs and dissipates the leftover substances disallowing them from accumulating by the passage of time. The body will also get used to being energetic and light through physical activity and would optimize the intake of food, firm up the joints, strengthen the muscles and the ligaments. Moderate physical activity immunizes the body against most ailments and mood changes, providing the activity is done at the right time and under the proper circumstances.
Physical activity should be practiced after one has digested their food. In addition, moderate physical activity is that which gives the cheeks color and nourishes the body. As for the activity that causes sweat, it is too excessive.
Any organ that is used regularly in a type of physical activity will get stronger, especially during enjoyable sports in which the organ is used. Those who practice sports regularly will strengthen their bodies and those who nourish their memory will make it stronger. Every organ has its own suitable sport and physical activity. For instance, the chest needs recitation, where one should start speaking with a low tone and then increase the volume. The ears needs to hear various sounds and voices, gradually from softer to louder ones. The tongue needs to speak, and the eyes need to see, the legs need to walk while increasing the pace gradually.
Horse riding, archery, wrestling, and running are sports for the whole body. These sports dissipate chronic ailments such as Leprosy, Dropsy, and constipation.
Furthermore, the heart needs a type of sport that entails learning, behaving, and feeling happiness, joy, patience, firmness, courage, forbearing, performing righteous good deeds and so forth. Patience, love courage and kindness are among the best types of sports or physical activity for the inner-self. When the heart learns these types of physical activities little by little, these attributes will firmly reside in the heart and will be a characteristic of that person.
In short, when you learn the Prophets’ (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) guidance in this regard you will realize that it is the most perfect and beneficial and it preserves good health and the power of the body. It is also beneficial for the worldly affairs and the Next Life.
Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet
Imaam Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah
Page 219 – 220