Almost everyone today is aware of at least a few advantages of being physically fit; one should also know that Islam also encourages those who take care of their health and body. The Prophet (saw) (on the authority of Abu Hurayrah) is reported to have said:
“The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, while there is good in both.”
While there are many kinds of strength, the obvious type is physical strength. A great Muslim mind from our history, ibn Taymiyya, also thought the Prophet was talking about physical strength. He wrote that it was preferable and more virtuous for a Muslim to have the ability to properly perform their prayers. A contemporary scholar of our times, Salih al-Fawzaan had the following to say about physical strength and its relation to our belief and actions:
“The believer who is strong in his belief, body, and actions is better than the weak believer, the one who has weak belief, or a weak body or weak actions. That is because the strong believer is productive and accomplishes things for the Muslims, and thus they benefit from his physical strength, actions, and his strong belief.
“So this hadith is an encouragement to have strength, as Islam is the Religion on strength, the Religion of honor, the Religion of Islam.