By Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.


Physical activity (any movement of the musculo-skeletal system) covers physical exercise (physical activity undertaken for the specific purpose of improving fitness, promotion of health, or prevention of disease). Unlike ancient humans who were physically active in hunting and agriculture, modern humans need to exercise because machines do most of the hard physical work needed for survival. Physical exercise increases muscle and joint strength and flexibility, increases physical fitness, decreases body lipids, enhances the efficiency and endurance of the cardio-respiratory system, and lowers mortality and morbidity from chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and colon cancer. The risks of physical exercise in the form of injury are generally outweighed by the benefits. Being physically active has many religious, social benefits, and psychological benefits. It is best to be physically active while engaged in productive work. Physical activity is mustahabb or manduub for its benefits (Physiological, health, and recreational). It is waajib when it is required as part of disease treatment or preparation for self-defense. Participative sports is preferred over spectator sports. Males and females should be separated in sports activities. Sports activity involving show of cruelty, high risk for participants or spectators, or gambling is either haram or makruuh. Anabolic steroids used to increase the size and strength of muscles are makruuh.



Human speech serves several purposes: communication, education, social interaction, and worship. Speech should comprise only of the good word, kalimat tayyibat. It is better to keep silent than to utter a bad word, kalimat khabiithat. It is recommended to mention Allah during conversation. Fear of people should not deter from saying the truth. Lying is a major sin. Exaggeration in conversation is a form of lying. Silence is forbidden if it leads to abandoning speech that is waajib or mustahabb or when adhan is called. It is waajib if it involves haram pronouncements. Keeping silent is enjoined to avoid self-incrimination, to keep secrets, and when in the toilet. Active listening and paying attention to the speaker are enjoined. It is mandatory to keep quiet and listen to the recitation of the Qur’an or the Friday khutbat. Speaking during the khutbah is an offense even if what is said is good.



Bipedal walking is necessary for a sophisticated human civilization. It can be for work and employment, ‘ibadat, seeking knowledge, physical fitness, recreation, or social visits. The Prophet walked on foot when he could have ridden. His walking was in quick and big steps being always in a hurry and not walking lazily. He walked with his companions and his wives. He also climbed mountains. Walking on a public highway requires lowering the gaze, avoiding annoying others, and returning greetings. A dua should be recited at the start and end of a journey and takbir is recited in between. Running is for recreation and physical fitness. The prophet used to race with his wife Aishah. Sitting serves the purposes of resting, relaxing muscle tension, learning, ibadat, and dhikr. The first-comer has priority in sitting and cannot be forced from his seat. Standing is preparation for walking that helps venous return by muscle pumping. The human upright posture is a bounty from Allah that enables humans to maintain stationary equilibrium and dynamic equilibrium against forces such as gravity. It is maintained by muscular stretch reflexes to counteract the force of gravity under sophisticated central nervous system coordination. Standing is involved in several acts of ibadat such as salat and hajj. Prolonged standing in salat does not cause postural hypotension due to venous pooling of blood in the lower extremity. Standing up is allowed for showing respect but not for worship of any person.



Athletics refers to competitive activities involving walking, jumping, or throwing. Swimming exercises the whole body with both upper and lower limbs. Armed martial arts are archery, spearmanship, and swordsmanship. Unarmed martial arts include kung fu, judo, karate, and tae kwondo. Horse riding is a sport of endurance from long periods of training for both the horse and the rider. Cock fighting, falconry, hunting for pleasure are offensive. Ball games include: soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, and golf are better as participative sports than spectator sports.



Boxing and wrestling are violent sports. Motor vehicle racing is risky. There are other adventurous sports that are risky.

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. 2005