Throughout history, diverse civilizations have honed the art of marksmanship with the bow and arrow, spanning from ancient Egypt to the heights of the Ottoman Empire, the grandeur of the Roman Empire, the splendor of the Persian Empire, and across the vast expanse of Eastern Asia. Even preceding these illustrious civilizations by millennia, evidence and records attest to the enduring presence of archery.
In every corner of the globe, archery stood as a revered pursuit, elevated to the status of high nobility. In Eastern Asia, during the Zhou dynasty, archery held a place among the six noble arts, a testament to its cultural significance. Notably, even the esteemed Confucius himself imparted wisdom as an archery instructor.
The practice of archery permeated all facets of society, finding utility in warfare, providing strategic military advantages, serving as a competitive sport, and sustaining communities through hunting. However, the advent of gunpowder heralded the eventual decline of archery, relegating it to obsolescence.
In the era of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, archery stood as a dominant discipline, emphasized for its importance. The Prophet himself actively encouraged its practice, observing and fostering competitions among his followers.
The Sahabah used to practice archery regularly, they would have two targets on opposite end and they would shoot at one target and would walk towards the target to retrieve their arrows. Then they would turn around to shoot the opposite target. Even in their old age they never gave up on their practice.
Learn the throwing of arrows and do not be averse to it, for the area between the two targets holds a garden of the gardens of paradise.”
Today, the value of archery endures, endorsed by health organizations for its efficacy in enhancing upper body strength, balance, and coordination. Furthermore, its therapeutic benefits extend to mental health patients, bolstering their capacity for concentration and focus.