When he walked, the earth folded easily for him to cover the distance, and people found it challenging to keep up with his brisk walk. He could mount a horse, and gallop with no saddle on it. He could wrestle a champion to the ground. He was a spectacular archer, and an agile swimmer. This was your Prophet (sa) – swift, graceful, and strong.
Don’t you wonder how and when did he master such qualities that we only see today either among sportsmen or maybe policemen or army officers? Dwelling among the mountains of Makkah, in the oasis of sand and sunshine, who taught him? Today you may have to venture to some sports club to learn most of this. But our beloved Prophet (sa) was a simple cattle herder as a child, and being an orphan, he did not have any extraordinary facilities either.
Prophet Muhammad (sa) did not waste time. He used every chance to learn something new, and later taught it to others. This is a remarkable quality. He was an initiator, and did not depend upon very grand opportunities that we generally wait for. He was a natural learner. And he highly emphasized for Muslims to be active, energetic, and close to their natural environment to keep them motivated.
He would race with his wife Aisha (rtaf). He held horse races among Muslims from Al-Hayfa to Thaniyyat al-Wada (near Madinah). Arab children were taught horsemanship at the age of eight. He announced on the pulpit to the believers to practice archery, and quoted that Prophet Ismail (as) was a great archer. Niqaf (like fencing) was a popular sport among Arabs. Once, he wrestled a champion called Rukunah, who was a disbeliever; later, the man embraced Islam. Weight lifting was known as Rab among Arabs. Ali (rtam) used the door of a fort in Ghazwa-e-Khyber, after he lost his shield. This was the magnitude of strength of the Prophet’s (sa) warriors.
High jumping or Al-Qafizi was practiced by our Arab ancestors. The Prophet’s (sa) grandsons, Hasan and Hussain (rtam), played tossing of stones with round stones called Madahi. Prophet (sa) said: “All things in which there is no remembrance of Allah (swt) are useless and idle play, except for four things, and among them is to teach another to swim.” (Tabrani) Umar (rtam) use to hold competitions as to who could hold his breath under water for maximum time.
Kids, toss aside your screen games and step out in the sunshine. We need to follow the footsteps of our great Prophet (sa). Build your body and stamina. It is a great service to Islam to be strong, and obedient to Allah (swt). A weak and inactive believer cannot benefit himself or anyone else.