In the time of the prophet when the wars took place. How did the islamic soldiers fight? Did they just randomly swing their swords at their enemy or did they have some sort of fighting system which they practised?

I'm assuming they practised some sort of fighting technique which used swords. Does anyone know if this is true and what system they used?

  • Might be better asked at MartialArts.SE
    – goldPseudo
    Aug 12, 2013 at 22:19
  • Really? I thought this was the best place to ask about how and what the prophet of Islam did? i.e. did the prophet of islam use some sort of martial arts system when fighting wars? I can see how this might fit in at MartialArts.SE, but seems much more relievant here, no? Plus, MartialArts.SE, don't have any tags which related to Islam in any way shape or form as far as I can see.
    – user3550
    Aug 13, 2013 at 8:40
  • I don’t have my sources handy but during a seerah course it was discussed that the Prophet pbuH wrestled on one occasion. It may have been with Umar before he embraced Islam. It may have been a very brief skirmish. The Arabs, including the Prophet pbuH, used to go for “life” education in the mountains at a very early age. It was like learning how to be a man. It would not be a surprise if at least some form of hand-to-hand combat was taught during this training.
    – user27315
    Apr 25, 2018 at 22:37

4 Answers 4


To my knowledge, I have not read or heard of a specific martial art practiced in the lifetime of the prophet(Peace on him) as is done in this era. However the popular sports of the day included Running, Wrestling, Swimming, Horse riding and archery. I guess this was somewhat sufficient to keep the troops fit enough to wield a sword or shoot an arrow whether standing, running or riding. Whatever type of training method was used, was not(to my knowledge) written about specifically. Perhaps another reader may have a clue to a text that does provide answers relating to the tactical usage of a sword.

Due to the effect of the message of our beloved prophet, many who had accepted the faith were themselves educated and bore skills that greatly benefited the need of the time. The prophet seemed to be not heavily involved in the military complex issues and could have used a lot of advice from his companions. Some where highly skilled prior to accepting Islam.

Please see the following for more : http://www.swordhistory.info/?p=10

You may get an idea about the tribes that influenced the prophet's(Peace on him) means and methods.

Also see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashidun_army . This wiki will probably create an impression about the master sword artists of the day post prophet Muhammad(peace on him).

The companion Umar(RA) was known to be fierce with his sword, as well as the prophets uncle, Abbaas(RA) and not least Muawwiya(RA). I guess that the Arabs had developed their own form of sword fighting. Interesting question. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


Can't say anything about particular types of martial arts, but going from the fact that our Prophet (pbuh) encouraged Muslims to teach themselves skills including riding a horse and swimming, one can assume that the companions at the time would have known some fighting skills (as they were following Prophet's advice in the best way and were successful in battles) that were known at their time.

However, the type of martial arts that we see today were probably invented only afterwards. We can also see from historic movies how warriors only swing their swords in a fight and other simple techniques like running away and protecting yourself from a sword attack. So these techniques were probably practiced by everyone at the time, only a matter of who was quicker and stronger.. etc.

  • I would trust "historic movies" very very little. The fighting shown there is designed to look good on screen, and bears very little relationship with actual history.
    – TRiG
    Aug 13, 2013 at 19:48
  • But normally those movie makers do some research into the ways how people behaved at the time (or am I wrong?), so to some extent they have something from those times incorporated into movies. Take it this way, all those historic movies we've seen, how many of them have martial art skills shown in them? Probably none. So that explains something doesn't it
    – mavili
    Aug 14, 2013 at 7:53

Assalamu Alikum,brother.. in my view, there is no special kind of techniques in war for 'muslim' in that Period. because some sahabas know martial arts very well before they come to islam. prophet(sal) period help of Allah they got victory but in Quran, Allah (swt) teach about "..cut behind their neck, leg (nerves(veins) of heel joints)" In prophet (sal) period they have many martial arts, Rome and Persia are super power countries. that countries soldiers may know martial arts.Arabs are Business mens they travel along the world.so, maybe they study some martial arts too. in prophet (sal) period muslims fight for Allah. they use some kind of martial arts with the help of Allah. but i'm sure in kalifah umar(ral) period he gave special type of practice (physically,mentally) for Allah's soldiers by his sound knowledge in martial arts. umar (ral) before he come to islam he is the greatest fighter (wrestler) in ukkas,zilmazal....(market) (study the book- Umar Al-farooq (life history of umar (ral)) (in that we see so many pictures about war and exercises for soldiers) Ali (ral) greatest fighter ( we see his strength in many battle...) Research the life of sahabas and tabiyeen (like kaakaa.....)we get some knowledge about that type of ancient muslims martial arts.(insha Allah) (Allah Knows all)


Wrestling is a type of martial arts, some individuals like companian abu qatadah (RA) , khalid ben waleed, Ali ben abu talib etc developed thier own skills and technique with in wrestling. Even today wrestling is considered a martial art. According to hadith Abu salma (RA) could out run a arabian horse


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