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Horses & Islam

Did you know that Islam and horses have been linked since the inception of Islam? In the Quran, the holy book of Muslims, there is even an entire chapter – Surah Al-‘Âdiyât – devoted to horses. Also, there are several traditions called hadith that speak of these beautiful creations of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala.

In fact, horse riding is a Sunnah sport, which means that our beloved Prophet Muhammad, ﷺ peace be upon him, highly recommended horse riding as a sport, just like swimming and archery.

The benefits of riding go beyond simply having fun. Horse riding has a healing effect on various levels, physical, mental and emotional. Some physical benefits include better condition, balance and coordination. You use every muscle in your body while riding! Horse riding is also a recommended sport for people with a physical or mental disability.

On mental and emotional level, horse riding provides relaxation. It helps us to reconnect with nature, so that stress disappears and we get inner peace.

Surah Al-'Âdiyât - The Running Horses

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
By the galloping, panting horses, striking sparks of fire with their hoofs, launching raids at dawn, stirring up clouds of dust, and penetrating into the heart of enemy lines! Surely humankind is ungrateful to their Lord, and they certainly attest to this, and they are truly extreme in their love of worldly gains. Do they not know that when the contents of the graves will be spilled out, and the secrets of the hearts will be laid bare, surely their Lord is All-Aware of them on that Day. (Koran 100)

سورة الـعاديات
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
وَالْعَادِيَاتِ ضَبْحًا ﴿١﴾ فَالْمُورِيَاتِ قَدْحًا ﴿٢﴾ فَالْمُغِيرَاتِ صُبْحًا ﴿٣﴾ فَأَثَرْنَ بِهِ نَقْعًا ﴿٤﴾ فَوَسَطْنَ بِهِ جَمْعًا ﴿٥﴾ إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لِرَبِّهِ لَكَنُودٌ ﴿٦﴾ وَإِنَّهُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ لَشَهِيدٌ ﴿٧﴾ وَإِنَّهُ لِحُبِّ الْخَيْرِ لَشَدِيدٌ ﴿٨﴾ أَفَلَا يَعْلَمُ إِذَا بُعْثِرَ مَا فِي الْقُبُورِ ﴿٩﴾ وَحُصِّلَ مَا فِي الصُّدُورِ ﴿١٠﴾ إِنَّ رَبَّهُم بِهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ لَّخَبِيرٌ ﴿١١﴾

Horse riding is sunnah

The Prophet, ﷺ peace be upon him, encouraged his followers to engage in physical exercise and told parents to let their children play a sport by teaching them to swim, ride horses, or shoot archery.

For certainly and I quote the Prophet Muhammed ﷺ also said:
“Everything with which a man amuses himself is useless except three things: a man’s training of his horse, his playing with his wife and his shooting with his bow and arrow” (Abu Dawud)

“And (He created) the horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride and (as) adornment. And He creates that which you do not know” (Quran: Chapter 16, Verse 8)

Hadith about horses

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, ” Goodness will remain in the forelocks of horses until the Day of Resurrection.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

عن ابن عمر رضي الله عنهما أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ “‏الخيل معقود في نواصيها الخير إلى يوم القيامة‏”‏ ‏)‏متفق عليه(‏

The Prophet ﷺ also taught that, for example, one should not cut off the forelock of a horse because doing so would hurt the horse in its beauty experience. It is also prohibited to condescend or mock animals.

And he ﷺ said: “There is a blessing in the manes of the horses.” (Ahmad)

Utbah ibn Farqad Abu Abdillah al-Sulami related that the Messenger of God ﷺ said: “Do not cut the forehead tresses of horses, nor their tails, for with their tails they scare away the flies, the manes provide warmth and blessings are intertwined with the hair on their foreheads.” In another version: “Do not cut the forehead lure of a horse, for character speaks from his forehead lobe, nor his mane, for they provide protection, nor his tail, for he chases away the flies with it (both reported in the work of Abu Dawud ).

Anas bin Malik related that the Messenger of God ﷺ said, “There are blessings in the forehead locks of horses.” (Muslim)

The Prophet ﷺ said: ‘A horse can be kept for one of three purposes: for a man it can be a source of reward; for another it can be a means of life; and for a third it can be a burden (a source of sin).
As for the one for whom it is a source of reward, he is the one who keeps his horse for the sake of jihad in the cause of Allah; he ties it with a long rope to a meadow or in a garden. So whatever the rope allows it to eat, it will be considered good deeds that will be rewarded (to the owner). And if it breaks its rope and jumps over one or two hills, even its dung will be counted among its good deeds. If it passes through a river and drinks water from it, which will be considered good deeds for his benefit (the owner), even if he did not intend to water it.

A horse is a shelter for the person who keeps it so that he can earn his money by honest living and considers it as a refuge to keep him from following illegal ways (to make money), and do not forget the rights of Allah (Zakat) and allow others to use it for the sake of Allah.
But a horse is a burden, and a source of sin, for him who takes it out of pride and pretense and for the purpose of harming the Muslims. ”

The Prophet ﷺ was asked about donkeys. He replied: “Nothing has been revealed concerning them except this expanded verse (which includes everything): Then whoever has done good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) will see it (his reward). And whoever has done evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) will see it (his punishment). (99.7-8)
(Sahih al-Bukhari 3646: Book 61, Hadith 149, Vol. 4, Book 56, Hadith 839)

SubhanAllaah the horse performs two duā (supplications) every morning

Mu’äwiyah ibn Khadéj said that he once passed Abu Dharr al-Ghifari and he was standing near one of his horses, so Mu’äwiyah asked him why he was so concerned about his horse. Abu Dharr replied, “I think this horse’s duā has been heard.” Mu’äwiyah asked him, “And then what is the duā of an animal among the animals?” Abu Dharr said, “I swear by Those in which hands my life is, every horse performs a duā every morning saying,” O Allah! You have placed me in the care of a servant of Your servants, and You have placed my Rizk (sustenance) in his hands, so make me more dear to him than his family, wealth and children.” (Authentic Tradition Ahmad 5/162)
Abu Dharr al-Ghifari based this statement on a hadith of the Prophet ﷺ in which he said: “Every horse is allowed to perform two supplications every dawn The horse says, “O Allaah! You have brought me into the care of one of the children of Adam (‘alayhi sallam), so make me more beloved by him than his family and prosperity” or “…make me among the dearest of his wealth and household to him” (Recorded by Ahmad, al-Nasa’I , al-Hakim and in saheeh al-Jami # 2414 and mentioned in Tafsir ibn Kathir)

Are there horses in Paradise?

A man once came to the Prophet and said: “O Messenger of Allah! Are there horses in Paradise, because I love horses?” The Prophet replied: “If Allah allows you to enter Paradise and you will wish to mount a winged horse of red ruby flying in Paradise wherever you wish, then you will certainly accomplish this.”

Then the Bedouin asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Are there camels in Paradise?” The Prophet replied: “O Bedouin! If Allah allows you to enter Paradise, then you will certainly get what your soul desires and what your eye desires in it!” (Sahih at-Targhieb wat-Tarhieb: 3756)

Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr said, “In Paradise there are young horses and swift, powerful mounts that will be ridden by the people of Paradise.”

A man asked al-Hasan al-Basrie, “Are there any horses in Paradise?” He replied, “There is in it that which the souls desire and the eyes desire.”

The Noble Quran 16:8, 100
Sahih al-Bukhari 3646: Book 61, Hadith 149, Vol. 4, Book 56, Hadith 839
Riyad as-Salihin 1328 : Book 11, Hadith 44
Animal rights in Islam:

Sifat al-Djannah (Description of paradise) Imam Ibn Abid Doenya


Interesting links: