“What does “every lahw (entertainment) except three is wrong” mean?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

- The hadith regarding the issue is as follows:

“All of the entertainments of the world are useless; however, these three are exceptions: A person’s shooting (with war tools such as arrows and spears), training his horse, and playing and having fun with his spouse.” (Majmauz-Zawaid, 5/269).

- In another narration, this number is mentioned as four with the addition of swimming. (ibid)

- What is meant by the hadith is that a person should not waste his life in vain and on useless games and entertainments. They are wrong, i.e., useless things; even if they are not haram, they are useless things that show heedlessness. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in another hadith:

“A person’s not dealing with unnecessary things that do not concern him is an indication that he is a good Muslim.” (at-Targhib wat-Tarhib, IV/319)

- All of the exceptions serve a certain reality. Shooting arrows, riding horses, swimming; all of them are things you will need in life. That they are used in wars to defend the homeland in particular increases their value even more.

They include many benefits such as having fun with one’s spouse and ensuring the peace of shared life and family.

Questions on Islam

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