There is no form of relaxation and fun more rewarding in both the worlds than that of spending time with one’s family. The Prophet’s encouragement of this can be found in many hadiths mentioning that he played, joked and raced with his wives. They would tell him stories, and he would play with the children and make them laugh. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was a role model as a family man. Indeed, it would take an entire book to discuss the Prophet (peace be upon him) as a role model within the family.
Spending time with one’s family and having fun together is a major factor in keeping the family united and close. It develops trust and love for each other and brings peace to the household. True Muslims find peace and enjoyment at home with their own families and do not need to escape from them to be entertained. It is this family unity that has been lost in the modern age, when each member of the family lives a separate life. Sadly, although the members of a family may live under one roof, they may not even meet to share a meal together. If we are to revive the unity of our families, we must revive the concept of family time.
The following are some hadiths that shed light on the importance of and reward for spending time with one’s family:
- The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Any act devoid of the remembrance of Allah is void except four: shooting, training a horse, playing with one’s family and swimming. » (Recorded by Bayhaqi and at-Tabarâni with a good chain of narrators)
- ‘Â’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) narrated that while she was on a journey with the Messenger of Allah, she had a race with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and won. Later, after she had gained some weight, she again had a race with him, and he won. He said, “This is for that.” (A sound hadith recorded by Abu Dâwood)
- The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “When a Muslim spends something on his family, intending to receive Allah’s reward, it is regarded as charity for him.” (Bukhari)
The time that married couples spend together also falls into this category. Besides spending time with the children, it is important that spouses spend time with each other, enjoying each other’s company and increasing their love for each other. Sex, including foreplay, is an important ingredient for a happy married life; it is also an act for which one is rewarded. One of the best forms of permissible entertainment is for spouses to enjoy each other physically. The only specific prohibitions between a husband and wife are anal sex and sex during a woman’s menstrual period and post-natal period. Anything else that spouses do to satisfy each other is permissible, but it is forbidden for the husband or the wife to discuss their sexual relations with others.
The following are some important hadiths regarding spousal relationships:
- The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “You shall be rewarded for every deed that you perform solely for Allah’s pleasure, even if that deed is putting something in the mouth of your wife.” (Bukhari)
- The Prophet (peace be upon him) once told a young Companion who married an older, previously-married woman, “Why haven’t you married a virgin who would have played with you, and you would have played with her?” (Bukhari)
- The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Every tasbeeh [saying subhân Allâh (glory be to Allah)] is charity; every takbeer [saying Allâhu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest)] is charity, every tamheed [saying alhamdulillâh (all praise is for Allah)] is charity, every tahleel [saying lâ ilâha illâ Allâh (there is no God but Allah)] is charity, enjoining what is good is charity, forbidding what is evil is charity and in your sexual act is charity. The Companions asked: Oh Messenger of Allah! How can one of us get rewarded for fulfilling his desires? The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “Do you not see that you are sinning and are punished if you fulfil it in a Harâm manner? Similarly, you get rewarded for fulfilling it in a Halâl manner.” (Muslim)
Source : Extracted from the book, “Having Fun the Halal Way: Entertainment in Islam” pp. 67-69, (IIPH, 2011) by Abu Muawiyah Ismail Kamdar