Sport has been a hallmark of every culture throughout history, and Islamic civilisation was no exception. At the time of the Messenger of God ﷺ, noble arts such as Archery, Swordsmanship, Equitation and Wrestling were the established sports of the day. But how were these sports practised and what purpose did they serve? What emphasis does Islam place on martial arts?
Drawing on hadith literature and classical texts, this short work looks at the art of wrestling as practised by early Muslims, including:
– A brief history of wrestling in Arabia and amongst the Companions
– A translation and commentary on the short treatise by the great 9th century Imam Jalaluddin as-Suyuti’s al-Musārʿah ila al-Muṣārʿah (‘Swiftly to Wrestling’).
– A discussion on the objectives of sports in Islam with excerpts from Silat al-Riyādati bil-Dīn wa-Dawruha (‘The Relation Between Exercise and Religion’) by the late Shaykh Muhammad ibn Alawi al-Māliki (1944-2004).
In a time when sport is heavily commercialised, Prophetic Grappling hopes to inspire a new generation to turn to the noble example of the Messenger of God ﷺ and use traditional martial arts as a means of spiritual, as well as physical, growth.
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