Aiming to Revive A Forgotten Sunnah

Community News
On Saturday, May 5, 2013, after the Dhuhr prayers the class for the ancient sport of archery assembled on the grounds of the Makkah Learning Center.
12 students, ages 8 and up, were enrolled. The class was taught by Brother Khalid from Baltimore, who is a licensed professional archer.

He started his instruction with a history of archery, especially in Islam. Br. Khalid also went over the archery equipment, safety precautions, and physically demonstrated the different bows. After the demonstration the students were given a chance to practice, using their bows and arrows.

Archery is a form of sport that was popular during the time of the beloved Prophet (sallahu 'alaayhi wassallam). Boys and men were given training on handling bows and arrows before going for battle. Archery is a sport that is believed that was initiated by Prophet Ismail. Ismail, himself, was a great archer.


Prophet Muhammad adored archery. One day, he passed a group of youngsters of the tribe of Bani Aslam who were practicing archery. The youngsters were throwing arrows between two teams. He stopped and said to all of them “O offspring of Ismail! Practice archery (i.e. arrow throwing) as your father was a great archer (i.e. arrow-thrower). I am with (on the side of) the son of so-and-so."

Rasulullah joined a team of the two and the other team stopped throwing their arrows. Allah’s Apostle asked “Why are you not throwing?”. The other team replied “O Allah’s Apostle! How shall we throw when you are with the opposite team?” He said, “Throw, for I am with you all.”

The story above shows that archery is a part of the sunnah. Although archery is now a commercialized sport, it still lacks popularity and has a very small fan base. Archery is ideal for giving your upper body a workout. It improves upper body strength as well as coordination and balance. If your balance and coordination are good you are less likely to trip over your own feet, colliding with the floor and breaking a bone in the process.

The physical benefits of archery include increasing flexibility in your hands and fingers and developing strength in the arms. In addition, hand-eye coordination improves, as does mental concentration and mental strength. A successful archer must know how to free his mind from distractions and focus on his target, which makes archery both a beneficial mind exercise as well as a great form of physical exercise. Archery requires a steady hand, a keen eye, an unflappable disposition, flexible muscles and strong shoulders.  These are traits that you can develop with time and patience.
Classes will be held every Saturday for ages 8 and up.