Exercise is good for you! You’ve heard it many times. It’s good for your body, mind, and soul. You know. But if you’re like me, knowing the benefits isn’t exactly motivating enough for you to use that little spare time you get doing jumping jacks and lounges. I feel guilty enough that I don’t keep in touch with friends and family or read as often as I should. But what if I told you that exercise can be an act of worship and you’d be rewarded for those jumping jacks and lounges you dread?
It’s true, because the Messenger of Allaah said in an authentic hadith,
إنما الأعمال بالنيات، وإنما لكل امرىء ما نوى
Actions are considered by the intentions, and everyone will be rewarded according to his/her intention.
It’s all in the intention. If you treat exercise as an act of worship to draw closer to Allaah with, then inshaAllah, you’ll be rewarded greatly for it. So renew your intentions and keep the following in mind when you workout:
You’ll be a stronger believer
Allaah loves the strong believer more than the weak believer. Strength can be both physical and spiritual. The strong mom is more fit to carry out acts of worship such as praying standing, performing hajj and umrah, and having the energy to pray the night prayer despite the hectic workload demanded by motherhood. The benefits of exercising carry on to old age, and so inshallaah you’ll still be praying standing, fasting, and helping others even in your 80s.
You’ll be a better wife
The feel-good hormones released during exercise will put you in a happier mood and increase your confidence. Your energy and happiness will brighten up the home and your husband will appreciate it. When you’re happy and confident, you think positively, and so you don’t hold on to, or more the case, misinterpret everything your husband says. The constant bickering is reduced and tranquility is established. Also, you’ll be more energized to do those little extra things you know bring joy to your husband, and he no longer will feel like he’s competing with the kids. So by exercising, you’ll be fit to carry out your wifey duties plus extra, you’ll please your husband, and in turn you’ll please Allaah.
You’ll be a better mom
Motherhood is a 24/7 job. You can’t change the workload, but you can definitely change how efficiently you perform and how well you cope with its demands. Working out gives you the energy you need to keep up with your kids. Exercising reduces stress and releases happy hormones called endorphins, so you can bite your tongue and smile at the same time. In today’s soceity, Muslim moms need to be a lot more active in the upbringing of their little ones. The days of passive parenting are over, even in Islamic countries. The mental and physical strength you get from a good workout program, along with your intention to do it for Allaah’s sake, will help you survive and thrive!
You’ll be a better believer overall
You’ll be more fit to worship, more focussed in prayer, and more active to help others.