5. Computer Programming
Ever wondered how your computer ’ticks’, what language it speaks, and how the millions lines of code speak with each other? Computer programming is one of those hobbies that you either love or hate. But you’ll never know till you try it. Also, there are multitudes of programming languages out there, find out what’s ‘clicks’ with you and pursue it. You may either try it on your own or get others to teach you (personally, I like to experiment. The thrill of discovering how something works is great!).
6. Graphic/Web Designing
Maybe playing with computer codes isn’t your thing. How about graphic/web designing? Although you’ll need to know a bit of code, but with today’s “drag and drop” graphic designing software, it shouldn’t be too technical… The biggest challenge of this hobby though is to develop an artistic eye and match that with your computer skills, so that what you have in mind can be translated to what you see on the screen. Again, just with computer programming, best way to learn is to experiment, and even better start with experimenting designs for real projects, e.g. a poster/newsletter for your local community/ISOC. The pressure of doing well, will force you to learn, and if your stuck, there are lots of free online tutorials that will teach you cool techniques. If all goes wrong, swallow your pride and beg your 10 year old niece/nephew to teach you!
7. Self-Defense classes
The art of self-Defense has great benefits. Not only do you learn how to self-defend yourself, but it builds your discipline, improves your health, and helps you focus. Find out self-defence classes nearby that’s right for you, and try them out. Look for ones that observe Islamic etiquette (no bowing, single sex classes, no bad language used…etc). If nothing is available, no need to confine to martial arts, wrestling is another sport you can engage yourself into. The Prophet (peace be on him) once wrestled with a man called Rukanah who was well-known for his strength, throwing him down more than once. (Reported by Abu Daoud.) Best thing about ‘clean-wrestling’ (not the crazy WWF stuff – yes i know it’s fake) is there are no particular rules, just the ability to throw your opponent to the ground.
Get your blood pumping and heart-racing and dive into sports! The Companions of the Prophet (May Allah be pleased with them) used to race on foot and the Prophet (peace be on him) encouraged them in this. It is reported that ‘Ali was a fast runner. The Prophet (peace be on him) himself raced with his wife ‘Aishah in order to please her, to enjoy himself, and to set an example for his Companions. ‘Aishah said, I raced with the Prophet (peace be on him) and beat him in the race. Later, when I had put on some weight, we raced again and he won. Then he said, ‘This cancels that (Reported by Ahmad and Abu Daoud.), referring to the previous occasion.
Here I have a confession to make: I was not a sports person, never stuck to one sport for a long time. But slowly I started realising the link between sports and productivity, and now I’m a gym regular! I cannot tell you how sports helps me keep up productivity; you feel fresh, awake, and ready to take 10 hours of work (well, not really, but you get the idea). I urge all, to get off your seat and engage in a sports activity, even if that’s fast-walking around your block 5 times, just do it! You don’t have to sign up to a gym, or pay for hefty equipments, there’s lots of resources online for doing exercises at home with no or little equipment. Even better, get into a team sport (football, basketball, volley..etc) so you keep the momentum with your friends!
Ok, slightly outside the box, but a great hobby. Grow your own food! You don’t need a massive plot to start getting in touch with the land; just a small square in your backyard will suffice. It’s a great hobby to get some exercise, sunlight, and fresh air. Watch your garden grow from seeds to plants, and contemplate on Allah’s creation. When you harvest your crop, praise Allah who created ALL things and has shown you one of His miracles. And when you make your first meal with vegetables grown in your very own garden, mmmm (do invite me! :P) . If you’re looking to get started with gardening, check out this informative and well written article by J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly or visit www.muslimgrower.com for great information and a support network.
Your shirt rips, your trouser tear and you think a million times whether you should take it to the tailor nearby or throw it and buy a new one? There’s a third solution: Learn tailoring! SubhanAllah, haven’t you heard of Prophet Idris – he was a tailor. And didn’t you hear of our own Prophet and the companions patching up their own clothes? Follow the Sunnah and learn tailoring (or Knitting). Again, as with most of the hobbies, get a teacher (mum & grandma would be good people to start with) once you learn all the tricks, give me a call, I got a few trousers and shirts that need patching up! lol :P