Many Muslims have a misconception that having fun is Haraam. Nothing could be further from the truth as having fun is part of human nature and Islam is the religion of Al-fitrah (Human Nature). Unfortunately, despite the fact that most forms of entertainment are Halal, many Muslims seem to indulge in the Haraam forms instead.

So here are my top ten favorite Halal things to do for fun. But remember even Halal forms of entertainment become Haraam through overindulgence and neglecting your Islamic duties:

10. Eating out:

Everybody enjoys going out to their favorite fast food joint and enjoying a delicious chicken tikka or burger. This is completely Halal and extremely fun, especially when you go with company, so go ahead and enjoy yourself… just make sure the chicken is Halal! ;)

9. Reading:

Not everybody enjoys this but I do, there is nothing like a good book to take your mind of things and help you relax. Of course one must choose a book whose content in Halal and it is preferable to read books by Muslims, unless you have reached the level of knowledge to read Non-Muslim books, and separate the good from the evil.

Don't forget that the first command in the Qur'an was to “READ” so enjoy your reading, and may Allah help us all reach
the level where we enjoy reading Islamic books.

8. Swimming:

This one is recommended by the prophet (peace be upon him), and there is no better way to cool off on a hot day! So make sure your Satr is covered and enjoy the water in the upcoming summer.

7. Relaxing:

We all need a break and nobody can pray all day, the prophet (peace be upon him) recommended that we will our lives in balance and said, “An hour for your Lord and an hour for yourself,”meaning that we should split our day and balance between Islamic work and living life. So do not stress, when you get tired, sit back and relax. Its perfectly Halal, just don't sleep through any salah times.

6. Video Games and Videos:

Not all video games and videos are Haraam; it's the content that matters. So if you enjoy playing video games and can balance without getting addicted, make sure you only buy Halal games (that means no Grand Theft Auto!). The same with movies and other videos, watch something Islamic or something beneficial and keep away from movies which have shameless scenes and teach bad things.

Most importantly, do not get addicted and sit till Fajr time praying Pro Evolution Soccer, because that would then become haraam. So balance and be careful and responsible when choosing the content, and do not try to fool yourself that a certain movie is halal when you know it is not, because you can not fool Allah or the angels sitting with you watching and writing down every moment into your book of deeds.

5. Nature:

I love nature! Whether it is the ocean, forests, animals, I just love being out in the natural environment. It is one of those times when I feel closest to Allah and feel peace inside me. There is no feeling equal to praying under a tree or on a mountain. Take my word for it and book your next family holiday at some place natural, like the Drakensburg Mountains of South Africa. It is Beautiful!

4. Nasheeds:

I love Nasheeds, in them I have found the perfect replacement for music and a source of both joy and education for myself. It is narrated that Umar (RA) said, “Singing is the companion of the traveler”. I do not know how authentic that narration is, but imam Malik did say there is nothing wrong with singing while traveling – so load your cars with Zain Bhikha and Dawud Wharnsby CDs, and throw out the Haraam music, and enjoy Halal beneficial entertainment as you drive to work and back!

3. Hanging out with the right crowd:

Your friends either make you or break you. The prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Every person follows the religion of his best friend so be careful whom you befriend”.

Since we are all social beings, hanging out and socializing will be high on our list of ways of having fun, yet it is so important to have the right friends. Your friends are the ones who encourage
you to pray or to skip the prayer and catch a movie. They are the ones who tell you your Hijab looks beautiful or that it makes you look old. In the end, whom you choose to hang out with, makes the biggest difference in who you become.

Sadly, in South Africa we have an added problem in that having fun is looked upon as Haraam as a result many practicing Muslims in this country are B-O-R-I-N-G! So it is even harder to find good friends here who are practicing yet cool and fun, but they do exist. You just have to look in the right places, like at the Al-Kauthar courses and ILM-SA programmes. Hang out with those crowds, you will become a better Muslim and have an awesome time at the time!

2. Playing with kids:

I have two baby boys, two baby nieces, a baby brother, a baby cousin and many other little people in the family and there is nothing that is more fun to me than spending time with these innocent sweet kids and playing with them. Children are a joy and the coolness of my eyes. On this point, I hate people who hate kids and treat them badly, it's because of such people in our Masjids that many kids grow up traumatized and hate the masjid and Islam. That is not Islamic at all.

The prophet (peace be upon him) would play with kids even in the masjid, sometimes when he was in Sajdah, he would be very long because his grandchildren were riding on his back. That's the Sunnah not banning the kids from the masjid and growling at them whenever you see them! Playing with children is part of the Sunnah methods of having fun.

One last hadith on this topic, once the prophet (Peace be upon him) kissed his grandchildren in public, a man commented that he had ten kids and never kissed any of them. The prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “What can I do if Allah has removed mercy from your heart, who ever does not show mercy will not be shown mercy,” Think about that next time you mistreat a child.

1. Marriage and all the fun it legalizes:

Being with the opposite gender is the natural desire of every human and it is such a situation that one has the most fun, especially if there is love between them. Islam does not prohibit this but promotes it in the form of marriage while prohibiting it outside of marriage. So dump your boyfriends and girlfriends, get religious and marry a cool religious person!

The prophet (peace be upon him) stressed the importance of marriage many times and also stressed the importance of having a fun marriage. If your marital life sucks, your life in general will be miserable, but if you are happily married and enjoying it (like I am, masha'Allah) then you can cope with every other problem you face. The prophet (peace be upon him) has a fun marital life, he would race with his wives, have food fights with them, joke with them. Study his life with them; he was the perfect husband so let us all follow in his footsteps.

Once the prophet (peace be upon him) advised a young companion who had married an elderly woman, “you should have married someone young (like you) so that you could play with her and she could play with you”. So what are you waiting for?

If you are married, make changes to improve your marital life and make it a source of fun and pleasure for yourself, and if you are not married, get married soon and have a lot of kids so that then do everything else of this list with your wife and kids, its more fun like that than when you are alone.

I hope you all enjoyed and benefited from this list and I hope that it will assist you in living Halal, practicing Islam and enjoying it. May Allah guide us all to the straight and balanced path and put the love of Islam into our hearts.

129 Responses

  1. jman

    To this i will add, listening to audiobooks and podcasts. Informative ones! Satirical. comedy.

    And most are free!

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    • Atif Mirza

      jman, could you give me a website that provides the free content of audiobooks? Jazakallah.

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    • Abu bakr

      It’s just the movies – I mean , I don’t tink one can even coun’t the halaal ones on his fingers .
      I mean something without wasting your time and without music .
      I can’t think of one .
      And which video is not a waste of time .
      So I’m all for physical sports , but any sort of movie or video is weigh out .

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      • Usama Zaid Malik

        try Omar series by MBC
        its really good

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  2. Arsi

    i doubt the prophet had FOOD FIGHTS with his wives. isnt that wasting food which we are not allowed to do?

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    • Abu Aaliyah

      Not food fight as we would see it in this culture but the incident with Aisha and Sawda, where Aisha made a dish and offered it to Sawda and she did not want to eat it, so she asked the Prophet if she could force it and the Prophet allowed it. Allahu A’lam

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      • BrownS

        If I remember correctly from one of Sh. Yaser’s classes, the Prophet (saws) implicitly motioned for Saudah (ra) to retaliate after ‘Aisha (ra) smeared some of the food on her.

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    • UmA

      “The companions used to play by throwing watermelon skins at each other, but when it was time for seriousness, they were real men.”

      I came across this quote as being from Imam Bukhari’s Al Adab al Mufrad. Can anybody confirm this quote?

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      • Abd- Allah

        Assalam Alaikum

        Yes, this quote is mentioned in Imam Bukhari’s Al Adab al Mufrad as the saying of one of the tabi’in (followers) and it is Sahih.

        “The companions used to play by throwing watermelon skins at each other, but when it was time for seriousness, they were real men.”

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      • Abd- Allah

        The tabi’i who said this is Bakr bin Abdullah, although in some copies of Al Adab al Mufrad there is a misprint and his name is mentioned as Bakr bin Ubaidullah, but the correct one is the first one.

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  3. Justlearning

    I thought the hadith “one hour for you and one hour for your lord” was daeef or similar to that..Can anyone confirm this? Especially cuz a lot of secularists enjoy quoting it.

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    • Abd- Allah

      Assalam Alaikum

      I think the hadith “one hour for you and one hour for your lord” doesn’t even exist with that specific wording. However, there is a hadith in Sahih Muslim that is close, but it does not mean what the secularists try to make out of it:

      It was narrated that Hanzalah al-Usaydi said: Abu Bakr met me and said: How are you, O Hanzalah? I said: Hanzalah has become a hypocrite. He said: Subhaan Allaah! What are you saying? I said: When we are with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) he reminds us of the Fire and the Garden until it is as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but when we depart from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), we attend to our wives and children and businesses, and we forget a great deal. Abu Bakr said: By Allaah, we experience something similar. Abu Bakr and I went and entered upon the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and I said: Hanzalah has become a hypocrite, O Messenger of Allaah. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Why is that?” I said: O Messenger of Allaah, when we are with you, you remind us of the Fire and the Garden until it is as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but when we depart from you, we attend to our wives and children and businesses, and we forget a great deal. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if you continued as you are when you are with me, and continued to remember (Paradise and Hell), the angels would shake hands with you in your homes and on the streets. But, O Hanzalah, there is a time for this and a time for that” (he said it) three times.
      Narrated by Muslim (2750).

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  4. Jasmine

    Eating out is the best!
    But I want to say, that many Islamic books are written in bad ways. I find the style to be unsophisticated and overzealous in many books especially Bilal Philips and Dar Es-Salaam books.

    I remember reading this in one of his books;
    “And christians in the west love pigs!!! They go as far as to read stories to their children about pigs and even a movie was made about pigs.. this is disgusting”… etc.etc.

    Since when were PIGS haraam? EATING pigs is haraam ONLY. Pigs themselves aren’t haraam, they are god’s creation. Mentioning pigs and telling stories about pigs isn’t haram and that was a completely horrible exaggeration. We’re not supposed to act crazy and extreme in Islam.

    If people begin writing nicer islamic books then maybe I would choose them before I choose non-muslim novels.

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    • Pancho

      ^^True say, most Islamic books are lacking in both style and content, especially from that ilk.

      I would add to the list martial arts, archery, gardening, writing, singing, poetry, decent movies.

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    • Ahmed

      I find it difficult to acquire well-written English Islamic books on theology. The ones I’ve come across thus far are usually written in a very dry manner or are rampant with spelling and grammar mistakes (sometimes due to mistranslations, other times I’m not sure if the book even had an editor!). In the end I try to derive what I can from the text despite its flaws.

      Perhaps MuslimMatters could do an article on excellent Islamic or Islamic-themed books in English! A title that came recommended by my father (a White American revert alhamdulillah) was Muhammad Asad’s Road to Mecca (Muhammad Asad, the same one who made a translation of the Qur’an). I’m about half-way through and it is absolutely spell-binding. He has a beautiful and very moving manner of writing; it is clear he was an intellectual, both from his pen and train of national thought. The book is his autobiography, weaving his story of hailing from a Jewish family to his living and traveling amongst the Arabs, his reversion to Islam, and his life with the beduins. Highly recommended, even if he made some mistakes! Book on amazon

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      • BrownS

        As far as theology goes I’ve found Dr. Umar al-Ashqar’s Islamic Creed Series to be quite readable.

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    • Slave of ALlah

      I totally agree with you when it comes to the Islamic books. I think it has much to do with the fact that many of them are translated over from Arabic and the translators themselves aren’t that familiar with the type of English spoken here in the US.

      Besides that, I have this one book right now, and the guy is starting letters without capitalizing and paragraphs with no capitals, obvious typos, and awkward sentence structures.

      That is one thing we need and that is homegrown American Muslims writing about Islam in easy to read English, not Biblical and not full of typos.

      I think we need to move away from trying to be too proper in the language. I am not saying to use slang but to kind of move away from the Archaic English which so many of our sheikhs are using today. Unfortunately, I believe this will take quite some time.
      But Allah knows the mysteries of mysteries.

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      • UmA

        Also another problem is for Westerners who have learned from the traditional scholars. It can be a real challenge for them to translate into idiomatic English, as they get so used to the Arabic style. So instead of ‘we must’ we read ‘it is upon us’ or ‘make wudu’ as opposed to ‘do wudu’ or how about ‘it is but not’ instead of ‘it is only’.

        In sha Allah there is a lot of space for great editors who can bridge that ‘Arabinglish divide’

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      • UmmOusama

        Assalamu alaikum,

        Alhamdulillah, there are now many books in English with correct knowledge. When I became Muslim, there were no books at all.

        For the serious student of knowledge, it is a must to learn Arabic. Don’t rest on learning all your knowledge in English because you really lose too much. If you know another language besides English, you will know how much meaning can be lost in translation. Thus, translating a rich language such as Arabic into English is very very difficult.

        As for books written in a too formal English, this is a requirement for any classical books. Book of knowledge need to be written in a formal English. Yes, there should be no grammatical mistakes and no spelling mistakes. No, it shouldn’t be written in a language close to slang. Slang is understood by the youth and not by the adult. Standard English should be used, a language that can be understood in the whole English world. Intelligent newspapers use standard English, TV news use standard English, …

        Umm Ousama

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      • Slave of Allah

        I totally agree with you. Standard and clear English but no mistakes in grammar!!! lol

        Its just not right.

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    • Ibrahim

      This from a person who loves Christmas and loves to decorate Christmas trees (your blog says so).

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      • Ahmed

        Haha, agreed Amatullah! But I think it is still a valid complaint: eloquent (and factual!) writing is not only good in our dawah to non-Muslims, but also for the countless Muslims who may never learn Arabic, much less Fusha. They too should have access to quality literature on their deen; I don’t think that’s asking too much.

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      • Amatullah

        Indeed akhi, I just couldn’t help it!

        Many times, English is not the first language of those who are translating. (that’s what I’ve found–inshaAllah it’s gotten better now with more foreign students of knowledge).

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      • Abd- Allah

        Translations are just not the same, especially since very few people master both languages well enough to translate classical works. It is not enough to master only one of the two languages. I have seen several mistranslations of hadiths, and that is just based on my limited knowledge, so there are probably much more mistranslated hadiths out there which people are reading in English and understanding them differently than what the prophet peace and blessings be upon him meant!

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      • Qas

        In your posts, you often list and explain a hadith in a deep way. I was wondering, if you don’t mind me asking, what your academic background is in terms of Islamic sciences?

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    • Zahra

      try the Sealed Nectar. It is a very nice autobiography of the prophet SWS and the style is very easy to read, it reads almost like a novel and you are hooked :)

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  5. Ahmed

    Question: since video games contain drawings/3d drawing and music, does that rule them out? Or does their use for fun cause them to be OK?

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    • Slave of ALlah

      I think that even besides the fact that it has drawings making it haram, video games should still be avoided simply because of their effect. I mean, it’s pretty hard to just play video games for like 1 hour and go pray Isha. believe me, if you actually play and stop every few hours, you’re gonna pick one or the other, either no video games, or hold off the salah.

      Just like tv, they are very hypnotic and can change your way of thinking. There are many studies out their that show how they change the way people thank and change our view of reality. That alone to me is haram. And television is the biggest culprit.

      Correct me if I am wrong

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      • Siraaj Muhammad

        I grew up being a gamer, and it is addictive, but personally speaking it was never addictive enough for me to forgo salaah.

        Siraaj

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      • Ahmed

        I too was a gamer and I left it only recently, alhamdulilah. Though entertaining, I feel countless hours were wasted, just as you said Slave of Allah. Now I actually have time to get back to some of my old, hopefully healthier habits: reading, writing, getting outside :)

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    • paraiso

      Drawings are haram?

      I guess muslim artists should all prepare to go to hell. Oh and poets… I guess Rumi and other great muslim poets should prepare for the fire.

      These silly radical interpretations are why the golden age of islam finished and plunged into darkness. Back then people actually used the brains, now it has become ingrained traditions.

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      • Slave of Allah

        It is a touchy subject. Because even those who say drawing is haram have drawings when they advertise their cd’s and use computer graphics and all this. For me, I guess its the purpose. Video games are just a huuge waste of time, and one can do so many better things than being hypnotized by a box.

        I did come off like I totally believe they are haram which I do not believe. I mean, the Saudi tv channels show children’s, cartoons, and stuff. What the Prophet (Peace and BLessings be upon him) said must have been referring to a particular type of artist. If not, then aloooooooooot of people are in deep trouble because there seems to be little tolerance of drawings and sculptures from those hadiths. Forgive me if I made any mistakes.

        Allah knows

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      • paraiso

        There are *touchy* subjects that are relevant to everyday modern life (hijab, war etc.) and then there are *non issues* that should have been resolved 1399 years ago. this one of them.

        person below states “is is true angels do not enter house where there are pictures?” our brightest minds are spending their time wondering whether angels will enter their house if there is a picture in there? this is the equivalent of the great christian puzzle ” how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” from the 1200s. NO ANGELS WILL NOT ENTER YOUR HOUSE. NOW GO LIVE IN A CAVE.

        It’s not anyone holding us back, it’s ignorance and radical interpretations combined with poor analysis that have hinder the Islamic world.

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      • Rifai

        Equating the question “is is true angels do not enter house where there are pictures?” – which has a clear answer in authentic Hadiths to a great non Muslim puzzle which is utterly irrelevant begs the question … how are the two the same useless thing? The question is hardly an unwieldy philosophical musing – it has an answer. Lest u come back and tell us it doesn’t matter, I say it does, though I don’t expect anyone will be hung up enough over it to cause the overall state of the Ummah to degrade. I don’t think anyone here is saying that we should focus on these matters, but to ignore them altogether as being unimportant is just being disrespectful of our religion if not worse.

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      • Ahmed

        Sorry, I really should have clarified: I meant drawings of living creatures, e.g. animals, human beings, etc. I actually happen to know a Muslim artist who creates beautiful works almost entirely without living things (exception: ceramic tile-work of the Kabah with small notches around the Kabah to denote people).

        Not sure how poetry got drawn into the conversation though…to my understanding poetry is good so long as the content is OK.

        And Allah knows best!

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      • paraiso

        so you guys avoid cameras? family pictures? what about the medical artists that were so critical to pushing forward modern medicine (there were even MUSLIM ONES! shocking… http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/islamic_medical/islamic_10.html) I wouldn’t go to a doctor… since the entire foundation of medicine is haram.

        Allah also gave us laws and rules and so on, but allah also gave us a brain, presumably to interpret the world around us in ways that are at least somewhat *rational* and *consistent*.

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      • Abd- Allah

        paraiso, maybe if you changed your condescending tone then people might actually bother to read your comments. Just a suggestion…

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      • Holly Garza

        Asalaamu alaikum waramatulahi wa barakatu back in the days When Allah sent us prophets, people of those times made “images” to sell, worship, and idolize Since this is Not clarified, nor am I a prophet or scholar; I will not go as far as to say that is what that hadith means, just putting it out there, and Allah knows best

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  6. shafkaqt

    As salaam alykum,

    Did I read somewhere that Angels do not enter a house where there is a dog/ pictures/ idols/ sculptures ?

    Would the moving pictures on the TV be included in this ruling ???

    Your thoughts ….

    Ma asalaam

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  7. omar

    mr( whomever) this concerns

    the prophet peace be upon him adviced the young sahabi that he should have married a VIRGIN woman so that he can play with her and she can play with him

    i guess (mr i studied under bilal phillips)should be a bit more careful when qouting a hadeeth

    maybe (mr i studied under bilal philips)was 2 shy to write the word virgin cuz he knew women would read his article

    there is no shyness in knowledge

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    • Qas

      I never knew hadith were narrated in English. Also, his name is written up there as well (It’s Abu Muawiyah Ismail Kamdar (I’ve been visiting your site, bro. Great stuff)). Even though there is no shyness in knowledge, there should be some shyness in writing a disrespectful, grammatically incorrect post filled with spelling mistakes.

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    • Ameera

      Prudence is something only the wise know and take benefit from. This comment proves it to be so.

      To the writer of the blog post, you’ve done an awesome job Ma’shaAllah! *thumbs up*

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    • Ahmed

      Go and buy some manners brother – u obviously weren’t born with any, neither were u brought up with any!!

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      • Abd- Allah

        Dear akhi Ahmed, you aren’t providing any better example for the brother to follow. Being harsh with a person will never show him the problem so he can address it.

        Allah knows best.

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      • Madkour

        I wasn’t planning to post anything, but after reading your response to the above issue, i felt it important to commend you on not only your level-headed, rational calmness, but also your demeanor. Too often people let their emotions get ahead of them, and an action of good intention goes awry. We must treat people the way we expect to be treated

        As-salamu 3aliakum wa rahmat-Allahi wa barakatuh

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  8. Yus from the Nati

    Wow. i really enjoyed this post. JazakAllahukhair for being a normal human being. (that sounded sarcastic, but I’m serious).

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  9. atheistdebater

    You Muslims argue seriously about some of the silliest things. It is fascinating, amusing and sad, all at the same time.

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  10. Abu Muawiyah

    Jazakallah Khair for all the comments

    Some of these issues are fiqh issues which people will differ over, like video games, sports, etc.

    I use to play video games before I got married but Alhamdulillah it never distracted me from my studies or my duties, it would be for two hours at the most as a break from my rigorous study routine. As far the image-making issue goes, there is much difference of opinion as to what falls into the category of prohibited forms of image-making. Most of my teachers do not regard digital images like video games and television as image-making, and Allah knows best. Since these are valid differences of opinion, we should all tolerate and live in peace.

    Also remember each human is different, you might not need much entertainment as an individual, but somebody else might. Some people can study and only do ibadah for days on end and that is a gift from Allah, but they should not look down upon those of us who get a headache if half a day goes by without having fun, Allah created each of us differently and as long as the means of entertainment is Halal and it does not violate any rules of Islam or distract you from your duties to Allah and his creation, it should not be frowned upon.

    Please check out my blog for more Top Ten Lists, unless management wishes to post them here as well, I don’t mind. :-)

    And Allah knows best.

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    • Abd- Allah

      May Allah reward you brother Abu Muawiyah for this list, however, don’t you think that since you are still a young student of knowledge that you should avoid giving such opinions and fatwas to people?

      For example, singing breeds hypocrisy in the heart, that is the authentic narration from one of the companions, not the one that singing is a companion of traveler. Even IF nasheeds are considered halal by some shuyukh, don’t you think that people will take what you said about “singing” in general and apply it to all forms of singing?

      How about videos? When was the last time you actually saw a movie which has no haram in it? ALL movies have music in them, and how about the movies which have women in them that are not wearing hijab? or is this considered halal as long as the scenes are not “obscene” ??

      I think that overall the idea of the article was nice, but some things should not have been included as “halal forms of entertainment”. Another thing is as a student of knowledge, you aught to have included some authentic narrations from the sunnah about permissible forms of entertainment, or what the companions used to do for fun.

      My honest advice for you akhi is to learn more knowledge before you start writing things that might mislead other people.

      and Allah knows best.

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      • Abu Muawiyah

        Jazakallah Khair for the advice

        Did not think of it like that, I want to argue my case for some of the points you raised but don’t think thats a good idea. You know better anyway. You are right hough, will spend a few more years with the books before I start writing here again.

        If it’s possible, can someone delete this article from this website.

        Jazakallah Khair
        Was Salaam
        Ismail

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      • Ahmed

        Don’t let the comments decrease your enthusiasm or efforts Br. Abu Muawiyah! It’s clear you were intending only good for the readers, though some of the points seem to have brought up questions from the audience (only two activities out of your list of ten, that’s not so bad :)). Keep, don’t curb, your enthusiasm for the pursuit of knowledge of this deen and fostering good works in the community! Thanks and jazechAllah khair!

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      • Secrecy

        Bismillah,

        Agreed, it’s advise and it shouldn’t stop you writing, rather being wary of what you write and a reminder that the more we know the more we don’t.

        May Allah ‘azza wa jal allow your writings to benefit others BIG TIME and grant you and us ikhlaas. Aameen.

        JazakAllahu khayr for the article akhi,

        And Allah knows Best.

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      • Abu Muawiyah

        Jazakallah Khair to everyone who replied positively.

        I don’t like arguing and fighting but just a few points I want to clarify.

        1. You forgot to read the line “throw out the Haraam music,” so how can someone use my article to justify listening to Haram music when I have specifically mentioned it in this article and made it specific to Nasheeds?

        2. Again, I said, “The same with movies and other videos, watch something Islamic or something beneficial” so that excludes movies with Haraam scenes, etc. There are many Islamic movies and beneficial documentaries out there. Regarding music in a video, Ibn Taymiyyah did say that the sin is in listening to the music, not hearing it, otherwise how do you leave your house in these countries, since music is everywhere?

        3. I did not write about the forms of fun the companions did, because that was not the purpose of this article, this article was about Halal things that I like to do for fun. Regarding what the companions did and the Hadith, etc on this topic, I have written a book about that which will be published by IIPH next year, insha Allah.

        4. Sorry about earlier, I just don’t like it when people throw the age card at me, it’s not my fault I’m young. If young people don’t do Islamic work, people complain that we are inactive, if we do, then they say we have no authority and are too young to do anything, so its a lose-lose situation if one tries to please people. Yes, I am young, but I have been studying for ten years now and all the above is based on research and discussions with my teachers, yes I can be wrong in some of it, and if that is the case I ask Allah to forgive and guide me. Just don’t say I’m wrong because I’m young, that’s insulting and stops young people from studying and being active in Dawah.

        I am sorry if I offended any of you with different views. You are entitled to your view, and I respect it and I am sorry if anything I said here was disrespectful to any of you.

        This will be my last comment, insha Allah.

        May Allah guide me and all of you to what is best.
        Was Salaam
        Ismail

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      • Amad

        Abd-allah, that is a strange advice… the Prophet (S) said to spread knowledge, even if it is one ayah.

        If we wait to learn everything in perfection before spreading it, the dawah will effectively stop.

        In any case, MM will not publish anything that is Islamically haraam (like encouragement of music, etc.). “Might mislead other people”… almost anything “might” mislead others. Writers are not responsible for being misunderstood.

        Pls be kind in your exchanges and advices. Be encouraging, not condascending.

        Abu Muawayah, welcome to the world of high-profile blogging. People will tend to nitpick your writers, many of them are being sincere, while some are simply trying to get a rise out of the writer. There was nothing fundamentally wrong with your post… so keep on writing.

        Finally, you don’t have to respond to every comment.

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  11. Ameera

    It’s important to remember, on this page, that the mentioned forms of entertainment are, for the majority, corroborated by the Sunnah… it is perfectly Halal.

    I like the post (even if I personally don’t like spending time with video games) because many amongst us don’t even consider the very simple activities like taking a nice nature walk to be good for themselves! 90% of what this blog post tells you is what you need to hear.

    The youth are increasingly getting attuned to “it’s fun to be young” and such ideas. Rather than letting the Haram activities take hold, we should offer bulleted lists of Halal entertainment and then go ahead and do those activities to prove it that neither the Prophet(pbuh) or his wives and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them all!) ever advocated a dull Muslim.

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  12. Amatullah

    Jazaak Allahu khayran!

    I like crocheting! :) Would like to re-learn how to sew inshaAllah, kinda forgot it. My mom used to make most of our clothes, I would like to carry on her sunnah inshaAllah.

    I could count the times I’ve played video games…only time I do is the occasional match against my younger brothers. I beat them in wii boxing, they never lived that down.

    Anything with nature, i’m there. I especially like hiking. Completed my first trail a few months ago, took around 2.5 hrs. Scared a few hikers when they would see us hijabi/niqabi women with our hiking boats and rain coats lol.

    Another thing to add can be sledding/tobogganing – especially for those in the North! It’s a nice activity and really fun if you take children.

    Also going to museums and exhibits.

    Alhamdulillah my parents put my siblings and I in a lot of lessons and programs when we were younger besides the weekend islamic school…swimming, crafts and decorating, taught us how to ride bikes, track, camping and a bunch of other stuff. I think it’s essential to teach children some of these things!

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  13. Siggy

    Great article brother mashaAllah! Ok there maybe a few points of contention but we come on here to learn and learn from each other. I come on here occasionally to read up on the doings of our awesome community and I’m sure if you were invited to write than that trust placed in you was not without cause :)

    I learnt alot about the diversity within our deen from the comments but most imporantly brother Abu Muawiyah, dont stop writing inshaAllah!I don’t think this article should be removed either.

    Oh and I toootttaallyy agree getting out into nature amoungst Allah’s creation just does something to the heart..makes you so thankful and feel so small all at the same time. Also add on sking and snowboarding for those you above the the 49th parallel. There’s a crazy snowstorm blowing outside my window this blessed minute (yipeee)

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  14. Holly Garza

    ASAWRWB very well written article and great points. So many people get wrapped up in the “Haram Policing” that unfortunately even lawful fun becomes haram or hidden because of fear it might be called that.

    Unfortunately so many youth are misguided, commit sinful fun; and others even leave Islam because they think we have nothing but criticism May Allah open all of our hearts to remember His blessings, bounties, and Mercy. Amen

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  15. muslimah84

    Salamun Alaykum,

    Some good Islamic books I have read and found very beneficial (and even entertaining!)

    The Sealed Nectar – Sheikh Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarkpuri. One of the best biographies of Prophet Muhammed (SAW). How many of us have made the time to really read and understand his life?

    The Islamic Civilization – Dr Mustafa Sibai

    Al Fiqh Al Islami – according to hanafi madhhab – Shaykh Mohammed Akram Nadwi.

    Du’a The weapon on the believer – Yasir Qadhi (noone claim this sheikh is not articulate!)

    Explanation of the Three fundamental principles of Islam – Muhammed Ibn Saalih Al-Uthaymeen

    Companions of the Prophet books 1 & 2 – Abdul Wahid Hamid – (lives of around 60 famous and almost completely unknown sahabas) Very very interesting read.

    The Invocation of God – Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziya

    The three fundamental principles of Islam – Muhammed ibn saalih al-uthaymeen

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  16. farhad

    This is sad. Seems very boring. Why is the Muslim social alternative so lame?????
    This seems great for socially isolated conservative muslims.
    Hanging out with non-muslims (in a halal manner) is fun.

    Can anyone add other points. Im sorry but this list was not inspirational.

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    • Sayf

      #11 – Trampolines
      #11.5 – Snowboarding/Skiing (!!!!!!!)
      #12 – Challenging people to races around the world
      #13 – Horseback arm-wrestling
      #14 – Alligator Taming
      #15 – Skydiving onto a pile of cotton candy
      #16 – Snow-fort building
      #17 – Snow-fort conquering
      #18 – Living room olympics
      #19 – Alligator Riding (after you’ve tamed them of course)
      #20 – Alligator Riding (before you’ve tamed them, for the more advanced)

      You just need an imagination :D

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      • atheistdebater

        I love to trail run; run on trails through the woods, in parks near my house. I usually do it Sunday mornings, when many of my neighbors are at church. I like to consider it my own form of spirituality, not that I believe in anything spiritual. It does make me appreciate that it is great to be alive. It is so good for the body too.

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      • Ahmed B

        I second the snowboarding/skiing. I’d like to add…

        #21 – Paintball!

        Don’t know if I’d recommend wearing a turban/thobe to that though…if the FBI wasn’t profiling you already, well…

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  17. muslimah84

    taking part in activities doing to raise money for charity. A friend of mine climbed Mount Ben Navis to raise money for the Sunami. That wasn’t boring!

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  18. Umme Ammaarah

    :O what about Shopping!!??? Bargain hunting? Learning newer cuisines? Solving Sudoku? :D ladies…please….

    ok, without too much israaf.

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    • Amatullah

      oh man…I hate shopping!

      Especially the way malls and stores are designed nowadays…so hard to stop yourself from buying something :(

      Totally with you on the sudoku though, puzzles in general..my brother recently told me I have all the geeky games on my ipod haha.

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  19. tee

    AOA

    I think eating out is israaf and i think the question here that Momins should be more worried about is tayab..

    The food may be halal but who is preparing it and in what conditions is a matter of tayab importance.

    Plus how will you control music in a restaurant? you cant.

    So in the light of these issues eating out must be avoided its best to do a take away if you are too tired to cook. and as for our elders who were towers of piety discouraged this, in Hazrat Thanwi’s book there is a story that once an Alim visited his son at the madrasah dorm and saw market bread in his room, he was greatly angered, he asked him why are you buying bread from the market “miskeen” people must have watched it being prepared and were helpless in buying in. Subhan-Allah such was the Taqwa of those that have gone before us.

    also i think having dinner parties at home is a better option. in lieu of this you can organize a book club and discuss religious books weekly or monthly… plus guests bring barakat to your house also.

    wasalam

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    • ummaasiyah

      Well, down in East London, there is an HMC-certified restaurant (click here to see what HMC really means) called Maedah Grill which serves Turkish food cooked and served by Muslims. They don’t have music. They have the option to book separate booths with curtains for private parties and for munaqqabas and even if ALL the rooms are booked up (because this place is BUSY!!), they’ll give a discreet table with a screen so that you can eat in comfort. And there are a couple more places like that in London. I’m fussy about where I eat…BUT…the Sunnah is that you should not question a Muslim about whether the meat they’re serving is halal, unless you have a genuine concern, i.e. you know they buy their meat from the local supermarket.

      But it’s always good to be on the safe side…for example, I recently found out that a well-known and supposedly halal chain of restaurants in Edgware Road in London are, in actual fact, owned by a Lebanese Christian who buys the meat from your average English butcher…I don’t know if this is 100% fact as a fellow sister told me a couple of weeks ago and I can’t remember how she knows, hence I have not mentioned the name of the restaurants here, but it’s worth looking into it anyway. And probably best to avoid.

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    • ummaasiyah

      Also, it is probably better to quote from the Prophet (saw)’s example or from his Companions as people on here would find it easier to relate to those as opposed to Maulana Thanwi’s example. The market bread example that you have mentioned could then make us all question ourselves buying bread from our local Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Wal-Mart, and would then confuse everyone, as it doesn’t relate to eating out at a restaurant.

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  20. aysam

    Haaaahahahahahahahaha. I can just imagine the brother writing the marriage bit with a straight face.
    It’s a lovely little piece. Jazakallah khayr.

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  21. ASG

    Salaam,

    I agree with some of the people above.

    Being Muslim doesn’t mean we need to be BORING…and the list of activities above just don’t scream out “FUN!”

    Here are some ideas of HALAL FUN things to do:

    1) Shopping
    2) Going to an Amusement Park
    3) Sky-Diving/ Bungee Jumping
    4) Mountain Climbing
    5) Taking a Spontaneous weekend trip somewhere with your spouse
    6) Travelling
    7) Taking a ride out on a yacht
    8) Going to a private beach with friends
    9) Having Halal themed parties (ex: dessert parties, 1920′s themed, luau, etc.)
    10) Painting
    11) Ice Skating
    12) going out with the girls for a spa day for the sisters/ or having a sports night for the brothers

    Those are just some examples..I probably have a million more where that came from! Anyway, my point is that we can still be a good Muslim and enjoy life!

    WS

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  22. ASG

    Also, maybe im just really late on this…but what happened to the the little thumbs up and thumbs down on people’s comments?! i LOVED that feature!

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  23. bigahk

    i thought the first command was to”recite” not “read”..i think thats wat sh.yusef estes was saying hmmm..what surah is that again????

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    • ummaasiyah

      I think you’re referring to Surah Al-’Alaq.

      ٱقۡرَأۡ بِٱسۡمِ رَبِّكَ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ

      This usually translates to:

      “Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists)”

      Having said that, there are some translations that say ‘recite!’ Quránic Arabic is so rich, that you can get 10 meanings in English from one word in Arabic.

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  24. isolated mullah

    Not sure if life is meant to have fun from an Islamic perspective, I’d like to spend my free time by reading scientific journals, books and exploring nature for photography, all with the intention of diving into the love and beauty of God. Anything that is done in isolation. That makes me a boring person and incompetent for marriage. Hence me activity #1 would be to explore the skies in some twin-engined fighter jet while experiencing the thrill of 10gs …
    one day inshAllah.

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  25. realist

    Salam

    Why are so many people bringing the author down? Such a balanced article, Mashallah, but the ‘haram police’ are jumping onto the author left, right and center.

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    • Amad

      It is a great article… but that’s the blog-world for you “realist”… you have to really be prepared to defend every angle, because there are people out there who (sincerely or maliciously, both exist) nitpick every word and every intention.

      Br. Abu Muawiya will be doing more posts for MM in the future i/a

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  26. Abd- Allah

    Assalam Alaikum

    For all those brothers and sisters that think whoever criticizes something about the article is “haram policing” and is negative and just doing it to put the author down or that every criticism of the article is aimed at brother Abu Muawiyah personally, then I must remind everyone that pointing out the faults and deficiencies to your fellow Muslims is indeed sincere advice and part of our perfect deen.

    As Abu Huraira may Allah be pleased with him said, “The believer is a mirror for his brother, if he sees something wrong in him he fixes it.” (Authenticated by Al- Albani in Saheeh Aladab Almufrad)

    So helping your fellow Muslims fix their faults is the duty of every one of us! Of coarse there will always be a few who will not have the correct intention and criticize others for whatever reason or simply to put that other person down, and I do believe that those are a small minority and that most Muslims give advice sincerely with the right intention.

    Now we come to the next issue which is how to give advice, and some might say that advice should be given in a gentle way, and this is true and is the general rule, however there are always exceptions where being harsh on your brother might be better for him and it might have a better effect, and this is clear for anyone who is familiar with the sunnah.

    That is why Ibn Taymiyah said, “The believer to a believer is like hands washing each other, and the dirt might not come off except with a little bit of harshness, but the result of this of cleanliness and softness which we like, only comes with this harshness” (Majmu’ Alfatawa)

    For those who think that we should leave every Muslim to deal with his own shortcomings and faults without saying anything or pointing them out to him, and those who think that anyone who gives other Muslims advice when he sees them doing wrong is being the “haram police”, then I suggest you enlighten yourself more on the subject by reading this article which was published here on MM a while back:

    http://muslimmatters.org/2009/03/28/judge-me/

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    • Holly Garza

      Exactly! some people do go about it wrong and not all do it to “help”. People misunderstand this greatly and think Islam is all about being boring and harsh and it’s not. Allah is love and he loves Beauty. People under the guise to “correct” (which we can’t only Allah and the person doing wrong can) often hurt, anger, or annoy others. Not everyone and some brothers and sisters Do say something with good intentions. Thats why I have my own blog, to try to say things. If people want they can learn and search or ask an Imam or scholar. Yes Helping and giving Naseeha (gentle advice) is our duty but not everyone does it right nor should we expect people to “obey” us just because we give them advice.

      When I say Haraam Policing, it is exactly what I mean, not that a well meaning brother and sis is doing (gentle Naseeha) but those just looking for negativity and to try and be grand. We all have faults and Allah knows best

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    • Regular Baba

      Salam

      Let’s just agree to disagree, brother. If you are comfortable being harsh, that’s fine, but that’s not my way. I choose to encourage muslims by showing the beauty of Islam. And BTW, did you read the disclaimer at the start of the article? “But remember even Halal forms of entertainment become Haraam through overindulgence and neglecting your Islamic duties”.

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      • Abd- Allah

        Akhi, no one is “comfortable being harsh”, and being harsh all the time is wrong just as being gentle all the time is also an extreme. If you read the article that I mentioned, you would see that being gentle or harsh depends on the situation and the person whom you are addressing. I might have been a bit harsh on brother Abu Muawiyah in my comment on his article, but this is because he is a student of knowledge studying under shuyukh, and my approach would have probably been very different if he was a layman who has no knowledge of the deen.

        If you read this article (http://muslimmatters.org/2009/03/28/judge-me/) you would see how the Prophet himself was gentle in some situations while he was also harsh in others, and you would see that sticking to one all the time is an extreme and it wasn’t something that the prophet himself did. All I am saying is that things depend on the situation and on who you are giving the advice to, and even though in general it is better to be gentle, yet in some situations one has to be harsh in order to have the required effect as is clear from the seerah of the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him.

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      • Regular Baba

        Salam

        Like I said, let’s just agree to disagree. If we look at all the haram “entertainment” freely available throughout the modern world, this is an amazing article which would be very, very helpful for those muslims who are struggling to follow their Islam, but feel frustration at living in a society where trying to be a muslim is like being a monk. And I know that you could probably make 100 arguments against my last sentence, but that’s the reality we live in.

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  27. Regular Baba

    Salam

    “those muslims who are struggling to follow their Islam, but feel frustration at living in a society where trying to be a muslim is like being a monk.”

    I should add that I am one of those muslims.

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  28. sabirah

    Abu Dharr asked the Prophet (Pbuh) to advise him. He told him:”I advise you to be conscious of God, for this is the best adornment to all of your matters.” He asked for mor.”Continue the recital of the Qur’an and the remembrance of God, for it is a remembrance for you in Heaven and a light for you on earth. “He still asked for more. “Prolong your silence, for it repels Satan and is great help for you in matters of yoru religion.” He asked for more. “Avoid excessive laughter, for it kills the heart and removes the light of the countenance.” He asked for more. “Speak the truth even if it is bitter.” He asked for more “Do not fear in the matters of God the blame of any blamer”. He asked for more.”Let what you know about yourself deter you from criticizing people.” (Bayhaqi)

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    • Abd- Allah

      Sister sabirah, can you please provide us with the authenticity of this hadith?

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      • sabirah

        assalam aleykum brother Abd-Allah,
        thank you for that question, it is very important to establish the authenticity of Hadiths. I copied this Hadith from my english translation of Mishkat Al-Masabih. Unfortunatly my arabic language skills are very limited as well as my other resources, so i’m always grateful for help and information on that regard from knowledgable brothers and sisters.
        I posted this hadith because i did not want anyone to be offended, me thinking who would be feeling critizised or offended by the word of the prophet himself (pbuh)? And I think i’ts beautiful.
        If I was to criticize anyone in this forum for critizising, this would be like doing the deed myself (in my opinion). I do not have authority to do so, and certainly do not wish to point the finger at myself. Please forgive me if you find my response unsatisfactory.
        Wassalam

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  29. wah

    Correction to #1.
    The hadeeth says bikr, which means ‘virgin’ and not ‘young’ and thayyib which means matron, not ‘old’; and the second part was jabir’s answer – that his parents died leaving young sisters for him to take care of, so he wanted someone who was older than him and capable of helping him take care of them. with the reply from the prophet ‘you have done well’.

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  30. Smee

    Salaam,

    I find it incredibly shameful how much dislike and arrogance there is amongst us Muslims.

    This brother wrote a lighthearted article about what HE likes doing in his spare time, an article which may just appeal to our not-so-practising brothers & sisters out there, to show them that we aren’t all boring old fogies. However most of the comments here go completely against the grain of the article.

    We have one commenter after another jumping on the bandwagon to put his efforts down. To the extent where the brother is even speaking of not writing again?
    SubhanAllah, I hope you people have as much zeal when you stand before Allah SWT and explain how you stopped your fellow Muslim brother from encouraging others towards the deen.

    Why are we so quick to get emotional and let our manners and adab slip when it comes to our fellow Muslims? If you people are following the sunnah of ‘Want for your brother what you want for yourself’ then you clearly have no standards.

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  31. SK

    What abou target shooting? Hunting?

    My wife and i enjoy this sport alot!! (particularly my wife lol….)

    Its something the whole family can get involved in. PLUS IT’s SUNNAH! and inshAllah you get rewards for it as the following hadith states;

    Book 14, Number 2507:
    Narrated Uqbah ibn Amir:

    I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) say: Allah, Most High, will cause three persons to enter Paradise for one arrow: the maker when he has a good motive in making it, the one who shoots it, and the one who hands it; so shoot and ride, but your shooting is dearer to me than your riding. Everything with which a man amuses himself is vain except three (things): a man’s training of his horse, his playing with his wife, and his shooting with his bow and arrow. If anyone abandons archery after becoming an adept through distaste for it, it is a blessing he has abandoned; or he said: for which he has been ungrateful.

    This sport also presents an excellent opportunity to intermingle with other communities on a halal basis. When ever me and my wife go to the local rifle range many people want to come and say “G’day and ask us how we are going?” and often some of the more experienced shooters give us tips on how to better our skills.

    My wife (who wears a hijab) seems to get alot of attention…like people make sure they are extra polite to her and provide her with equipment she may need (perhaps contrary to popular belief!)….. and ofcoarse we try our best also, to be good representatives of your average, run of the mill Muslims.

    As this is a very popular sport in Australia joining a club and getting started is pretty easy.

    HOWEVER sensible people need only apply!

    Salams :)

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  32. firoz

    Salams

    Regarding Nasheeds , i have read in another website that not only music is haram than infact nasheeds with even duff is haram and that the duff is allowed only in certain circumstances to be played by women only.

    “There will be among my ummah people who will regard adultery, silk, alcohol and musical instruments as permissible.”

    This hadeeth indicates that all musical instruments are haraam, including the daff”

    http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/91142/duff

    Could some on please get back to me on this Inshllah

    Salams

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  33. Islamislove

    everything thing is haram. live a sad life and go to heaven. and stop posting on the the internet. its haram. so is your profile picture Ismails Kamdar, Y U provoke hijabis sisters lust? Music, friends, faces, food, is all haram. even breathing too much (ala imam ghazali- only religion in the extreme is halal, the rest is all haram).

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  34. Islam Hussen Pakhtoon

    10. Eating out:

    This is definitely the best form of entertainment.

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