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Top Ten Forms of Halal Entertainment

January 24, 2010

A guest post by brother Abu Muawiyah Ismail Kamdar – a young student of knowledge under Dr Bilal Philips.

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 Quran 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.

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