Is there a Hadith about leaving archery being sinful?

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

Yes, there is a Hadith in Sahih Muslim about leaving archery being sinful. Although it is considered to be Makruh and not Haram. Therefore, one should only embark upon it if he has the time and ability to remain persistent.

فُقَيْمًا اللَّخْمِيَّ، قَالَ لِعُقْبَةَ بْنِ عَامِرٍ: تَخْتَلِفُ بَيْنَ هَذَيْنِ الْغَرَضَيْنِ وَأَنْتَ كَبِيرٌ يَشُقُّ عَلَيْكَ، قَالَ عُقْبَةُ: لَوْلَا كَلَامٌ سَمِعْتُهُ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَمْ أُعَانِيهِ، قَالَ الْحَارِثُ: فَقُلْتُ لِابْنِ شَمَاسَةَ: وَمَا ذَاكَ؟ قَالَ: إِنَّهُ قَالَ: «مَنْ عَلِمَ الرَّمْيَ، ثُمَّ تَرَكَهُ، فَلَيْسَ مِنَّا» أَوْ قَدْ عَصَى

Fuqaim al-Lakhmi said to Uqbah bin Amir (May Allah most High be pleased with him), ‘You frequent these two targets whilst you are an old man, and it is difficult for you.’ Uqbah said, ‘Were it not for a statement I heard from the Prophet ﷺ I would not exert myself for it. Al-Harith (one of the narrators in the chain) said: I asked Ibn Shamasah: What was that? He said that he (the Holy Prophet ﷺ) said: ‘Whoever learnt archery and then gave it up is not from us.’ or ‘he has been disobedient.’ (Sahih Muslim, 1919 – 169).

As seen in the authentic Hadith above, if one learns archery then he must make an effort to persist and refrain from neglecting it. However, if a person has a valid reason for leaving archery then he is not included in the censure found in the Hadith, as explained by Imam al-Nawawi. Even if he leaves it without a valid excuse, it is Makruh and not Haram.

هَذَا تَشْدِيدٌ عَظِيمٌ فِي نِسْيَانِ الرَّمْيِ بَعْدَ عِلْمِهِ وَهُوَ مَكْرُوهٌ كَرَاهَةً شَدِيدَةً لِمَنْ تركه بلا عذر. (المنهاج شرح صحيح مسلم بن الحجاج)

This is a severe warning against forgetting archery after having learned it. It is greatly disliked (Makruh) for one who leaves it without a valid excuse.

The Nass (text) above clarifies that it is wrong to leave archery after having learned it. This does not mean that one must belong to an archery club for the rest of his life. However, it does mean that one must practice regularly.

Therefore, one should only take up archery if he has the time and ability to remain persistent. Otherwise, he may find himself falling into something Makruh. So, although it is not necessarily sinful to leave archery, it is Makruh and censured in Hadith.

The Hadith above is Sahih. All Musnad Hadith narrations in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are confirmed as Sahih by the scholars of Hadith. See the link below for more details.

And Allah Most High Knows Best

-Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (21.05.2022)

See also:
Are all Hadith in Bukhari and Muslim Sahih?
Are there any Sahih Hadith about archery?

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