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Halal way of Spending Free Time

Posted on January 19 2016

This world is a jail for believers and heaven for disbelievers. This does not mean that we cannot enjoy our life. 

Many Muslims have a misconception that having fun is Haraam. Actually the believers are the most enjoying persons in this world. Allah bestows a blessing in this world and hereafter on the believers who spend their time in the remembrance of Allah and with the aim to please the Creator at all times even when entertaining themselves. 

So here are my proposals for a halal way of having fun.

Firstly, when thinking of any activity I would remember the below:

1. Plan your entertainment so that you will not miss the prayer. I prefer to pray at home and then go out when there is enough time till the next prayer starts.

2. I prefer gatherings without gender mixing 

3. Not overspending (both time and money)

Below are 7 ways of having fun (one for every day of the week)

And I will continue the list in sha Allah. 

7. Eating out

I think it is the most famous way of relaxing nowadays. Just make sure that that burger you eat is made of halal meat :-) And if any left overs, take them with you so you can avoid israf (overspending). 

Other etiquettes of eating include: Mentioning the name of Allaah before eating, Eating with the right hand, Eating from what is directly in front of one, Washing the hands after eating, Rinsing the mouth after eating, Not reclining whilst eating, Not spitting or blowing one's nose whilst eating, unless that is necessary, Eating with a group, Not speaking about haraam things whilst eating, Not criticizing the food. Part of the etiquette of eating is moderation in eating and not filling the stomach, Avoiding eating and drinking from vessels of gold and silver, Praising Allaah after finishing eating. 

6. Reading

The first command in the Qur'an was to “READ” so enjoy your reading!

As Muslims, we should exercise two types of reading:

- Islamic reading (Quran, Hadeeth, Islamic books)
- General reading

Being new to Islam, I enjoy reading books by Muslims and about the deen.  May Allah help us all reach the level where we enjoy reading Islamic books for the sake of increasing our knowledge and pleasing the Creator. 

5. Swimming, Archery and Horse Riding

These 3 activities are recommended by the prophet (peace be upon him). (See my previous post about horse riding). 

p.s. There is a narration that some people bring forth, and they say that this narration prohibits all forms of entertainment except these three. There are two versions, and one says three and one says four. The narration is that all of the recreational things of this world are bāṭil (void) and a waste of time except for three (another narration says four).  The Prophet (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) described them as archery, horseback riding, and swimming. In the other narration the fourth one added is wrestling.

Some scholars based on this narration say that these four are the only permissible types of entertainment. In his Iḥyā' 'Ulum'l-Dīn, Imām al-Ghazāli (raḥimahullāh) gives a very good response to this. Imām al-Ghazāli mentions that, “Just because these few are mentioned in one ḥadīth does not necessarily mean that other forms are all ḥarām because there are many other narrations that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) and the ṣaḥābah entertained themselves in other ways not mentioned in this ḥadīth.”  The Prophet (ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) used to race with his wife on foot and used to watch people play with swords in the masjid. They used to have competitions with watermelon seeds, and they used to do many other things. Some of the children used to play with toys, and it goes on and on. There were many other things they used to do.

4. Relaxing

We all need a break and nobody can pray all day. So do not stress, when you get tired, sit back and relax. Its perfectly Halal, just don't sleep through any salah times. Cats help to release the stress as well :-)

3. Nature

It goes without saying that Nature and its beauty are one of the great reminders of the Power and Majesty of our Creator. A walk in a park, a picnic by the sea or just sitting and contemplating on the wonders of Allah anywhere you are. 

2. Ladies only gatherings

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”. (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2378; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 1937)

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.

When living in Dubai, I had usual gathering with sisters from our islamic school. We would meet at the house of one of the sisters, have nice meal and talk about our revert stories, about new hadith we learned or sunnah way of eating etc. In times when Allah is remembered at the gathering, Angels fly to such places and surround its participants with their wings ad the light goes up to this sky! What the best gathering on earth it is! Avoid gossiping or backbiting and enjoy immense rewards. (see "Zikr on the Go" blogpost for more details.)

1. Talking to your family

Well, you may not consider it as fun time but it can be if you put a little bit of effort. My parents live abroad and when I have free time I would phone them on skype to have 2-hours of "I-cooked-this-and-i-bought-that" session with mom :-) I was considering it is boring before but I learned that this is the right my mom has over me that I have to take care of her and listen to her. She needs to talk. I would just listen to her talk and ask questions from time to time. During these 2 hours I relax listening to her and at the same time I make her happy and get a reward for this in sha Allah. The same may apply to your grandmother, aunts etc. 

To be continued in sha Allah

4 comments

  • Rahmart: January 26, 2016

    Masha Allah This is a lovely article.

  • Aisha: January 23, 2016

    Thanks for sharing this. May Allah continue to increase you in knowledge. Ameen.

  • Diana: January 20, 2016

    This was very cool. I often try to figure out what, as a Muslim, can I do for fun besides hearing my non Muslim friends going out having what sound like fun to me being a revert, i couldnt think of too many things. But this helped immensely! I love horseback riding didn’t think of that at all. I love your blog,Instagram and you ,you r inspiriting. Thanks my sister!

  • Saffiyyah: January 20, 2016

    May Allah continue to guide you and strengthen your Iman. Nice article.

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