BeFit4Akhirah was founded in 2014 with a dream and a vision. This dream and vision were to stand up for one of the six main pillars of faith, Akhirah-the Afterlife.
Speaking up about it is never easy and was never an easy route to take. Yet, there was a calling deep inside me that told me to go for it and speak up about Allah, Quran, Islam, and bring it all back to fitness.
So why all of the sudden is swimming going to be added now?
I have been swimming since age 6 years old, and I was blessed to have learned in Damascus, Syria at a young age. When I came to the United States in 2001, I didn't participate in any sports except track and field in high school. However, swimming was still my number one favorite hobby and activity.
In 2010 or in 2011, I took a 1-college credit swimming course at my community college because my beautiful mom motivated me to. That same year, I was going through that spiritual journey of finding my connection with Allah. Then in 2011, I made the choice on my own to wear the headscarf, aka hijab. The transition was challenging because of the clothing situation in the pool and how to stay modest while swimming. After I transferred to GMU, I didn't keep up with it anymore because I didn't have time for it.
As I have shared my story on my podcast and on my website as well as all over social media, I have dealt with anxiety and depression in the past. Part of it was because I had made everything haram on myself, meaning, everything seemed to be out of my faith and couldn't be in a coed environment anymore at a gym, I couldn't listen to music anymore and just felt like I had dived way too much into the faith that I felt like I became a bit extreme into it.
When I had lost my grandmother in 2014, I felt like part of me was taken away from me which can't come back together. This is when I had realized that I have drowned into this world thinking it was going to be forever.
That was just the beginning of BeFit4Akhirah! Allah reminded me that this life is just passing us by and that there's more to this life than the looks than the prestige than what people think of us, and so much more.
So what does all of this have to do with swimming?
Yes, swimming in public while being covered up can be challenging at times. Yes, swimming is one of the most beautiful sports and activities in this world. I have been bullied too in the pool. And I didn't let any of that get in my way.
But guess what?
So many people like myself around the world are either afraid to get in the water due to the clothing situation, family situation, the pool situation, and many other reasons.
Yet, my Prophet, our Prophet, Mohammad s.a.w taught us how important it is to be active including swimming.
There is a reason for that.
Swimming is actually a life-saving skill.
Take a quick read into this answer: How swimming is from the Sunnah and part of our faith as well.
Also, "every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.1"
I strongly believe that swimming is meant for the young, for the old, for the woman, for the man, for the obese, for the overweight, for the one who chooses to cover up, and for the one who just wants to try out water aerobics at first!
How swimming is part of the fitness journey?
There are various benefits of swimming including:
Improved flexibility in the body
And so much more!
Also, the word swimming in Arabic is spelled as:
And if we look into the Arabic linguistic of the word, س, ب, ح, it's the same root word for سبحان الله
As crazy as this sounds, Allah swt told us that when we remember Him, we will able to float in this life so we don't drown into it.
And this is how my brain works. I love connecting the dots together between my faith to fitness.
Swimming is a skill that everyone should be able to learn and be allowed to learn whether they have access to a pool or not.
And this is what I want to work for. I want to be able to inspire women, men, and children to love the water, to learn how to swim, and to be able to float while swimming.
Let's make waves in 2020 and beyond.
Stay tuned as more will come from BeFit4Akhirah.
This is a new beginning to a new journey, in shaa Allah.
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