GUJARAT- A growing number of Indian Muslim girls has been joining self-defense programs to develop their marital skills, eyeing more opportunities for employment in the future.
"I think every girl should learn the art of self defense," Silu Chaudhary, a class Xll student who attended the self defense program in Kanodar village, told The Times News Network (TNN) on Sunday, December 15.
In a martial arts performance held in the Muslim majority village of Kanodar in Banaskantha, a district in Gujarat state, hundreds of girls participated, reflecting a growing passion for the sport.
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About one thousand girls have displayed subtle Judo and Karate exercises at the village's performance, amazing the crowds.
"We have got demonstrated some attacking exercises that can come handy for self defense," said Khushbu Prajapati, a trainer at the program that was named Padkar (Challenge).
"The nine day long self defense program was organized by Gujarat Sports Academy (GSA) saw 1082 school girls attending it."
Considering the Indian traditions, many girls were reluctant to participate in the self defense programs.
"There was some hesitation in the beginning but it became very interesting in later stages," said Ismat Chaudhary, a class Xll student who attended the self defense program.
"It was exciting to defeat an opponent."
There are some 140 million Muslims in Hindu-majority India, the world's third-largest Muslim population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.
After the success of the nine-day self defense program in Kanodar village, trainers at Gujarat sports Academy believe that the program should be modeled in other Indian villages.
"Looking at the enthusiastic response we feel that such programs should be run in other villages too," Prajapati said.
Offering girls an opportunity to enhance their defending skills, Mahila Kala Nidhi Trust, an NGO working on the theme of 'Save the girl child' will select 151 for a three-month intensive training.
"This will not only help in self defense but also benefit the girls in seeking employment," explained Convener Rashmi Hada, of Mahila Kala Nidhi Trust.
The Islamic Shari`ah permits all things that are beneficial to the body and it prohibits all things that may cause damage or harm to it.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: “Your body has rights over you”.
If sports are free from things which are prohibited in Shari`ah, then practicing those sports is beneficial and permissible.
A Muslim should be able to defend his or herself from aggression (which requires physical strength) and should be prepared to struggle in the path of Allah, should the occasion arise.
For this reason, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has said:"The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, while there is good in both." (Reported by Muslim).
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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