Sports among Arabs – Islam Online

Arabs have known and practiced sport for most of their history, as it was part of the nature of their lives, which are based on movement and a lot of effort, which is imposed by living in the deserts, a life that is constantly requires movement, and skill in sports, such as: walking, horse and camel riding, jogging, fencing and hunting.

On the other hand, sport was present in most of the countries known to Islamic history, as it was part of the readiness to fight. Those countries were in a state of semi-permanent conflict with neighboring empires and kingdoms, which required that the soldiers not stop practicing sports to maintain a permanent state of readiness. It was part of the entertainment in the palaces of princes and rulers.

sport is a way

Many Muslim scholars and philosophers saw sports as an important educational tool, so Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali made it a way to transfer the soul and behavior from bad morals and vices to good morals, so he in came his book:Revival of religious sciences“It is of the benevolence of sport, if the aspirant is not generous by directly abandoning frivolity or by neglecting some other quality, and not immediately admitting its opposite; So he should be transferred – that is, the guide – from a blameworthy character to another blameworthy character who is lighter than him. Like the one who washed the blood with urine, then washed the urine with water, if the water does not remove the blood, and like a boy in the office desires to play with ball and wand and the like, then he is transferred from playing to adornment and luxurious clothes, then he is transferred from that by encouraging leadership and seeking prestige, then he is transferred from Prestige by seduction in the Hereafter.”

As for the Arabic writer “Al-Jahiz” in the book “Al-Farid”.The crown in the ways of kingsHe saw that the practice of sports was a necessary condition in the king’s blood, and therefore he said: “The blood of the king and his retinue during which they equate the king is a necessity, and there is no lack to the king, nor baseness. in the king, including: playing with the ball, looking for fishing, throwing objects, playing chess, etc. It’s similar to that.” Rather, he made it a door to achieve justice with the ruler himself, and not a means of hypocrisy. or humiliation, so he said: “It is the right of the king not to hinder his court from asking him for justice in these sections which we have enumerated, and the right of the playgrounds is his to argue, to demand, equality and opposition Leave temptation and take truth to its maximum limits. However, it has not indecency, indecent speech or opposition that removes the right of the king, nor shouting that raises his words, nor grumbling, or slander or what is outside the balance of justice.” Then he says: “It is the right of a man over the king, if he is struck with the ball, to advance with him with the ball He rides on the king’s beast, and his scepter on the king’s scepter , and that he does his best not to lose. his happiness, not faltering in a contest, or jogging, or wiggling a ball, or rushing to a limit and an end, and the like.”

book”The crown in the ways of kingsFor Al-Jahiz

And in the book “The consequences of the first in the position of countriesThe historian “Al-Hassan bin Abdullah Al-Abbasi” who died in the year (710 AH) had a speech about the benefits of sports for kings and princes and its importance, he says: “To play with the ball to play is a perfect and good sport, described by the wise and virtuous among the kings for the sport of the body, the sport of horses and play with the ball and the jockan.[i] And its use in the mornings is one of the most complete, complete and beneficial of sports.” Then he says: “As for the benefit of exercise in bulk, it is clearly known because God placed the heterogeneous mixtures in the bodies whose substances are of different kinds of food.” From helplessness and dominance, and from that is the return of meeting and training, and the help of friends to each other, and the support of the guardians and their cooperation against opponents and enemies.”

Sports are old in Arabic

The caliphs and princes in the Islamic states and kingdoms of the Abbasids, the Fatimids, the Ayyubids, the Mamluks and the Andalusians loved sports and racing, and the acquisition of tools, hunting of animals and birds, and it has a study contains.”The mutual relationship between the progress of civilization in the time of the Abbasid state and the development of the sports movementDr. Ismail Khalil Ibrahim has much useful information in this regard, including that the Abbasids established racetracks, due to their passion for horse racing and running, and Harun al-Rashid was one of their successors who owned the most horses, and the Abbasid caliph al-Mustakfi Allah encouraged swimming. History books tell of races, including a running race that took place during the reign of the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mu’tasim between the courier (runner) Ma’touq Al-Mawsili and his rival “Ali bin Al-Erbili in the year 645 AH = 1248 AD) in which the “Al-Erbili” who arrived in Baghdad was received by the Caliph Al-Mu’tasim himself, who gave him many gifts and presents.

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Sports in the history of Muslims

Shams al-Din “Muhammad bin Tulun” mentioned in the rare book:Telegrams in historical jokesA hadith about some (enemy) couriers, such as “Baraka bin Mahmoud,” the deceased courier (628 AH = 1230 AD), who ran from the city of “Wasit” to “Baghdad” in one day, and earned a lot of money , and the service of the Caliph “Al-Nasir Li Din Allah”, Or contacted the courier “Matouk Al-Mawsili” who won a race in (653 AH) and received a reward from the Caliph amounting to five hundred dinars has.

The caliph “Harun al-Rashid” was fluent in the game of “scepter” (which is now similar to the game of golf) and he established a field for it, and the rest of the Abbasid caliph took care of it. A group changed its team, and Al-Afshin said: “The Commander of the Faithful will absolve me of this.” When he asked him about the reason, he said: “Because I do not think that I should be on the commander of the believers. seriously or jokingly.”

book”Telegrams in historical jokesFor Ibn Tulun

As for the Abbasid caliph “Al-Amin”, he loved to hunt lions and animals, and he was accompanied by a group dedicated to these called “The Companions of Lababid.” These people wore wool like shepherds as a symbol of their ruggedness and In that period she was involved in hunting, including a book.Hawks and stalkersFor “Mahmoud bin Al-Hussein” known as “Kashajim”, which is a book of thirty chapters, which means with descriptions of predators and predators, and the causes and tools of hunting, and there is another book on the subject what is:Take advantage of hunting and hunting opportunities By Taqi al-Din al-Nashiri, and he wrote it for King Amer ibn Abd al-Wahhab, one of the kings of the Tahirid state in Yemen in the tenth century AH, and it is one of the most extensive books that was written about hunting.

book”Hawks and stalkersFor “Mahmoud Bin Al Hussein” known as “Kashjem”

In the era of the Fatimid state, the interest in sports was known, especially among the caliphs and princes, and hunting was one of the most important. The minister Abu Abdullah “Al-Hassan bin Al-Hussein” wrote the most famous veterinary author book, a bookbaisaWhich is considered to be the oldest scientific book written in the Arabic language about this science, where he wrote it after almost twenty years of service in the royal palaces.[ii] His integrity, majesty and goodness are many. In it benefit activity and relaxation, outward and inward benefits, exercise and exercise, lightness and motion, desire, widening of the step, lightness of the passengers and safety against injuries; With his ingenious ways, circulating proverbs, precise issues of jurisprudence and traditional news.” Abu al-Maimoun Abd al-Majid was the eighth of the Fatimid caliphs. He had a large land where he went hunting twice a week.

And among the anecdotes is that Sultan Jalal al-Dawla “Malakshah” who died (1092 AD) was passionate about hunting, and he relates that when he counted the number of game he hunted, which amounted to ten thousand, therefore he given ten thousand dinars. in alms, and said: “I am afraid of God, the Almighty, that He takes souls without being eaten.” Every time he kills Sidon, he gives a dinar in alms.

book”Take advantage of hunting and hunting opportunities By Taqi al-Din al-Nashiri

The historian and interpreter “Ibn Katheer” mentions in his history “The Beginning and the End” that one of the reasons why he brought “Nur al-Din Mahmoud” to Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi is that Salah al-Din was adept at playing football on horses, as the righteous king “Nur al-Din” liked this sport. Until the horses mastered hitting and running, and it is said that “Nour al-Din” rebuked the practice of this sport, saying: “Actions are by intentions, but with this I want to train horses to hit and run and teach them that.”

The Mamluk princes used to practice this sport and established private fields for it, and they regularly held races for it, such as “Al-Zahir Baybars”.

Hunting was one of the important sports in the Mamluk era, until it was said The picnic of the kings and the conviction of the tramp“The vagabond means the poor who go out hunting to feed himself and his children, as this sport was one of the gateways to obtain food and sustenance, breathe fresh air, practice horsemanship and bring happiness to the soul .


[i] Gokan game, which is “chogan” in Persian, which is derived from the word “chubkan”, which means a game in which wood or stick is used, as it was part of the heritage and customs of the Sassanid kings and after Islam spread in Egypt and other Arab and eastern countries, and became famous for the game of scepter.
[ii] Humiliation of the soul: that is, to rise above faults and worldly things

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