Volume 4, Book 52, Number 148 :
Narrated by Salama bin Al-Akwa (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) passed by some people of the tribe of Bani Aslam who were practicing archery. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “O Bani Ismail ! Practice archery as your father Isma’il was a great archer. Keep on throwing arrows and I am with Bani so-and-so.” So one of the parties ceased throwing. Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Why do you not throw?” They replied, “How should we throw while you are with them (i.e. on their side)?” On that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Throw, and I am with all of you.”
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 149 :
Narrated by Abu Usaid (radiallaahu `anhu)
On the day (of the battle) of Badr when we stood in rows against (the army of) Quraish and they stood in rows against us, the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “When they do come near you, throw arrows at them.”
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 150 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
While some Ethiopians were playing in the presence of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) came in, picked up a stone and hit them with it. On that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “O ‘Umar! Allow them (to play).” Ma’mar (the sub-narrator) added that they were playing in the Mosque.
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 151 :
Narrated by Anas bin Malik (radiallaahu `anhu)
Abu Talha (radiallaahu `anhu) and the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) used to shield themselves with one shield. Abu Talha (radiallaahu `anhu) was a good archer, and when he threw (his arrows) the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) would look at the target of his arrows.
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)
Further reading: Health Benefits of Archery
Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, had once done hajw (insult via poetry) of the Prophet (SAW). The companions got really angry. Question was: how to retaliate? A lot could’ve been done. Companions were ready to kill and die for Prophet (SAW)’s sake. Hearing him getting insulted was something they couldn’t bear. So they suggested Hind’s murder, waging war on the Quraysh and other ways to defend Prophet (SAW)’s honor. But the only thing that the Prophet (SAW) allowed was a reply to that hajw. He allowed Hassaan bin Thabit (RA), who was a poet, to do it and also prayed for him.
Narrated Hassan bin Thabit Al-Ansari:
I asked Abu Huraira “By Allah! Tell me the truth whether you heard the Prophet saying, ‘O Hassan! Reply on behalf of Allah’s Apostle. O Allah! Help him with the Holy Spirit.” Abu Huraira said, “Yes. “
That said, I want to bring your attention to the way today’s Muslims ‘defend the honor of the Prophet (SAW)’. Violence, that does not result in everlasting peace, in not encouraged by Islam. If we were to follow his Sunnah when those cartoons became an issue, or the Facebook event “Draw Muhammad Day” came near, we’d reply to the world and defend Prophet (SAW)’s honor using the same medium. We’d publish articles in the news, post on our blogs, draw, paint; fill up Facebook, Twitter and YouTube with peaceful messages, portraying the true personality and character of our beloved Prophet (SAW). But ashamed as I am to say this, all we did was protest and burn flags. Sigh.
It’s okay, rather good, to feel offended when the disbelievers insult our Prophet (SAW). But we’ll only be able to meet him with heads high on the Day of Judgement if we defend him the right way. So gear up. Learn more about him and his life. So if anyone tries to even point a finger at him, you make them see the three that they point towards themselves. InshaAllah. May Allah help us with the Holy Spirit (Jibreel) as well. :)