Living in the digital age where we are more likely to answer the beckons of the couch than the gym, it has become the need of the time to prioritiseour physical and mental wellbeing. Although, while many among us are in the habit of endeavoring to keep fit, there is a
significant number of people who labor under the common misconception that only the ones having obesity issues need to work on achieving fitness. Such misleading ideas need to be debunked while increasing awareness about the universal need to keep fit and healthy. Indeed, the need for this is greatly stressed upon in the Islamic Shariah. Physical laziness is considered a blameworthy affliction and detrimental to a person’s health because of the strong connection between physical and mental health and spirituality and emotional strength. Not only are we strongly encouraged to look after our bodies but also to live a fulfilled life that maximizes happiness and success in this life and the Hereafter.

Significance of Fitness and Health in Islam

The Quran and the hadith highlight the importance of looking after oneself. In a hadith, the Prophet Muahmmad said:

‘Your body has a right over you’ (Al-Bukhari 5199)

This succinct yet deeply meaningful narration sums up the need to keep ourselves in good health. Our bodies are an Amanah from Allah SWT to be returned to Him and thus it is up to us to maintain and strengthen them as a form of remembrance and gratitude to Allah.

Physical exercise is one way to make sure we are not neglectful of our bodies. It is important to understand that the human body does start on an eventual decline after a point. We might take being active lightly right now, but we might possibly findourselves facing constant limitations in the future. The Prophet spoke about the wisdom of utilizing good health and neglect of the human body:

‘There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) Health and free time for doing good.’ (Bukhari 6412)

Another hadith mentions archery and horse-training as physical activities:

Any action without the remembrance of Allah is either a diversion or heedlessness excepting four acts: Walking from target to target [during archery practice], training a horse, playing with one’s family, and learning to swim. (Reported by Tabarani)

Muslims should endeavor to take out time to focus on maintaining physical health. However, while Islam encourages exercise and sports, one must take care to be moderate in their activities and exercise and not cross the limits to the point of obsession. Also, one must be careful not to pursue anything that is impermissible and ensure there are no rules of Shariah breaking, for example exposure of the Awrah (parts of the body which must be covered).

It is interesting to note that Islam being a religion of love and harmony endorses husband and wife exercising and playing together. The Seerah of the Prophet Muhammad containsthe oft-mentioned example of the Prophet racing with his wife Aisha RA. Aisha RA said:

‘I raced with the Prophet and beat him in the race. Later, when I had put on some weight, we raced again and he won. Then he said, ‘This cancels that,’ referring to the previousoccasion.’ (Reported by Ahmad)

How Muslim Women Can Stay Fit While Being Modest

In the light of the significance of keeping fit highlighted above, it goes without saying that women are equally required tomaintain their health and stay fit. Indeed, in some cases it becomes imperative to occupy oneself with physical activities when one feels their health, emotions and spirituality dwindling. The question that inevitably arises is that how Muslim women are to maintain good physical health and fitness while staying true to their modesty and the Islamic rulings regarding it. Today's average gym becomes no-go with free mixing of men and women in revealing clothes and loud music playing. And yet, not all is lost. There are multiple ways for Muslim women to pursue fitness within the bounds of the Shariah and some are mentioned below.

Make Intention and Remain Steadfast!

We have all heard the adage: Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and it is definitely true in this case too. Regardless of whether you have a good place to work out to exercise, make a firm intention to spend a specific number of hours in a week and stick with your intention and look forward to that time.

Making Time for Exercise

Many Muslim women find it exceedingly hard to juggle a workout routine along with family, work and household chores, understandably so. However, a little me time that does not involve a screen is always good and even a few minutes of a brief but thorough physical activity like a half an hour walk can have amazing health benefits.

Find Activities You Enjoy

Now that you have made a firm intention to stay fit and maintainyour physical health as well as taken out time for it, the next course is to find activities that will make you exert physically while being a source of enjoyment. Hiking, tennis, riding a bike are all options to choose from or you can spend a good few minutes brisk walking in your favorite park if you find the activity exhilarating.

Work-out At Home

In case outdoor activities are not possible, there are always indoors options to practice at home. If you are seriously committed to maintaining fitness, you could always hire a trainer to help you with workouts. If you want to keep a steady pace with nothing too overwhelming, there’s also the option of investing in a treadmill and a few weights. With YouTube filled with uncountable exercises, you will definitely find a routine that works for you.

Hijab-Friendly Workout Clothes

It is important to note that both Muslim men and women are required to dress appropriately while exercising and make sure their awrah is covered. Revealing and tight clothing like spandex should be strictly avoided. Choose loose fitting and breathable fabrics for exercises and workouts. DEENIN is actively working upon creating an Active Range for Muslim Women to preserve their modesty while endeavoring to keep fit.

The Search for a Women-Only Gym

Many Muslim women in non-Muslim countries have faced immense disappointment when it comes to finding appropriate gyms that caters to their religious needs. In this case, it always helps to gather support from like-minded people and work towards making a small women fitness class with a trainer. Often there are communities who do provide a supportive and inclusive environment for Muslim women for exercise.


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Myriam. (2022, December 21). Sister-friendly options to get fit, and stay fit!. - Meaningful Productivity That Connects This Life With The Hereafter.

Rahman, S., & Ahmed, K. (2023, July 12). Do the quran and Hadith mention the benefits of physical exercise?. Crescent Days.

Writer, G. (2019, December 23). 3 fitness lessons from the sunnah. AYEINA. (2023, May 6). The importance of exercise for Muslim women’s health: Overcoming barriers with hijab-friendly options. Bee Nourished.,for%20Muslim%20women%20to%20exercise.


The article highlights the importance of fitness in Islam, focusing on the Prophet's teachings. It offers practical tips for Muslim women to stay fit while adhering to modesty, suggesting activities, home workouts, and the importance of hijab-friendly clothing.

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