Posted by: Dawud Israel | November 12, 2018

Fitness Hikam 

Of Gyms and Tariqas

Many Muslim speakers point out analogies between Islamic tarbiya and physical fitness. After joining a gym I realized maybe there is more to it than just the passing comparison. Here are some passing thoughts on the convergence of faith and fat.

“Try us out for 7 days and see if you like us!” “Do this wazifa for 7 days and see the results!”

“We are more of a club with members who get exclusive access to our facility.” “You have to take bayah and then you can attend the private dars at the zawiya/khanqa.”

“We coach and hold you accountable by meeting with you once a month to see your progress. This way members get results.” “You can get one on one time with the shaykh once a year.”

“Our gym is an intimidation free zone. No judgment.” “This is a safe third space for all Muslims.”

“Planet fitness is for the awamm, layman beginner. It has no smith machines or heavy weights. Just cardio machines, TVs and fat people.” “The masajid should be a hospital for the spiritually sick.”

“Then where do the spiritually healthy/physically fit go to maintain their progress if not the masjid/gym?”

“Pizza on the first Monday of the month at our gym.” “There will be free food at the Islamic event.”

“We can take the mureeds to an outing – use the soft love approach.” “We have tanning beds, massage chairs and couches.”

The deeds and reps are to elicit a response in your heart or body, which will cause the change. The khariq al adaa.

The diversity of amal and exercises elicits a deeper response. More angels and more cells are activated. HIIT exercises the whole body so a bigger response with HGH and testosterone, likewise variety of spiritual activity is needed to exercise and stimulate the purification of the heart.

Stretching is like the niyyah, the distance and flexibility of your limits and how far reaching your results will be.

Rhythm and timing – the beads tapping and davening while reciting – the bounce of the elliptical and thump of the treadmill – make consistency and results easy.

Fitness of muscles and firmness of faith are functions of time and energy – wisdom, ease, speed and familiarity.

The muscles / heart buried under a ghishawa of fat / dunya. Alterities of heedlessness insulate the nur and abs within.

Abstaining from sinning is like eating clean.

Getting your Macros: praying behind a righteous imam and sitting near them, just as you would eat from a cook who is righteous and does much dhikr, listening to a bayan every other day, and reading much Qur’an.

Spiritual metabolism

Much like the body’s metabolism of processing and activity, the ruh has a similar process.

Certain things slow it down, and other things speed it up. Transform or transmutation of food, prayers, ibada, taqwa, etc…into spiritual experiences and results.

Or Allah overrides the metabolism to transform you suddenly.

Spiritual Benefits of Physical Exercise

  • even when lazy you are active
  • makes one time conscious
  • understand organic nature of gradualism/incrementalism/tadarruj works
  • time management
  • appreciate what effort is
  • burning feeling in body
  • boost self-confidence
  • inculcate endurance
  • discipline
  • body is centre of mind/spirit so laziness in body carries over into laziness with spirit and thought

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa Ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.


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