The hype over the World Cup is felt slightly in America, but travel abroad and you will realize the passion soccer/'football' fans experience in all parts of the interconnected world. Hey--to think of it, the World Cup may just be the solution to world peace we have all been looking for?! I mean, the world sits together, united, cheering a small group of players on and then, together, at the end of the day they shout victory or defeat! I think that's a much better usage of the much overused phrase "United we stand, together we fall." Don't you think?
Well, as I mentioned in my first post, I like to take things to the spiritual level whenever possible. I came across the following article and thought it may provoke some interesting thought and discussion. It is directly speaking to Muslims, but everyone can take a lesson from it, God willing. Take a read and let the pondering begin!
At this critical juncture we find ourselves in a period where the talks, discussions, topics of conversation and focus of media networks, newspapers and various media centres around the Soccer World Cup. Many people would spend large sums of hard earned money to witness this spectacle live, while others would spend hours of valuable time glued to the television watching every move of their favourite team. I would like to draw a parallel between the World Cup and our lives as Muslims.
It is really amazing how players engaged in a football match or any other code of sport find their lives guided and governed by the rules of the game. They are cognisant of the fact that if the rules are broken or the laws are flouted penalties would follow. The player is guided by the lines and boundaries and parameters of the game which he plays. As Muslims we have been sent for a greater purpose, the lines and boundaries that govern us are the lines and boundaries chalked out for us by Allah subhaanahu wa ta aala Allah says in the Glorious Quran: “These are the boundaries set by Allah, do not transgress them.” ( Surah 2 Verse 229)
How strange it is that a person is so mindful about the 2 linesman watching his actions from either side of the field while he is unmindful of the Kiraaman Kaatibeen [angels who are with at all times], on either side of his shoulder, writing all his actions.
How strange it is that a person would dare not touch the ball with his hand in the penalty area for fear of the referee penalizing him, while he dares to venture into touching that which Allah has prohibited him from, without any fear of impunity or repercussions.
How strange it is that a person on the soccer field is so cautious about not being caught off side, while he does not care if Allah catches him in places where he is not supposed to be.
How strange it is that when a free kick of the opposing team is so dangerously placed that it is a threat to the goals, players rally together to form a line of defence, while we do not think of standing together to resist the onslaught on Islam from those opposing the deen. Allah says in the Holy Quran: “Indeed Allah loves those who fight in His Cause, in rows as if
they are a solid structure” (Surah 61 Verse 4)
How strange it is that we would do whatever it takes to be like our sporting heroes in terms of dress code , hairstyle and external appearances, to show our identity and loyalty; but there is nothing in us to show that we are the followers of the Greatest Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
How strange it is that a person fears the yellow warning card of the referee but fails to respond to the mild reprimands that have come from Allah in the form of trials and tribulations; the yellow card in the form of some sickness, the yellow card in the form of death in the family, the yellow card in the form of some financial loss, the yellow card in the form of a narrow escape from an accident or the yellow card in the form of relief from life threatening situation.
How strange it is that we are wary about the red card of the referee which would signify suspension or expulsion for a short period from the field of play, but totally unconcerned about those actions that would shift us out from Jannah [Heaven] for ever.
How strange it is that a person understands that after the final whistle is blown no matter how many goals are scored they can not count in his favour, but the same person fails to understand that when the final whistle for his life is blown no more good deeds could be added to his account for the Aakhirah.
How strange it is that a person would never think of putting his team at a disadvantage by scoring his own goal, but thinks nothing about doing harm to his own deen by his very own actions.
How strange is that a player is concerned about the millions of people around the world watching him in action but he seems to be unperturbed about the day when every deed of his will be played out in front of mankind on the Day of Qiyaamah.
Remember my dear brothers [and sisters], the matches in the World cup may go into injury
time but as far as our life is concerned our time span in this world would not end a second earlier nor delayed a second later. "...when their appointed time comes they can not delay it for a moment nor can they bring it any earlier” (Surah 16 Ayat 61)
Sometimes a person is at the mouth of the goals but fails to put the ball at the back of the net. We say “He missed a sitter”, “He missed a golden opportunity”. How often has Allah presented us with golden opportunities to gain nearness to him with the opportunity to look after aged parents, opportunities to assist the needy, opportunities to perform salaah, opportunities to give charity, opportunity to smile or reconcile friendship and family ties and opportunities to turn to him in repentance.
How often Allah asks: “Is there anyone seeking forgiveness that I may forgive him, Is there anyone seeking sustenance that I may sustain him, Is there anyone in any difficulty that I may ease his difficulty for him" Shaytaan is playing a more dangerous game with you. He is sure to sit on your path tackling and defending ensuring that you do not reach your goal.
How often have you heard of a team scoring in the final seconds of a game to clinch victory. Shaytaan will continue to try to snatch away your Imaan until the final throes of death. Our defences have to be on full alert at all times
As Muslims we should not be running after the World Cup We should actually be vying with each other for the cups that surround the pond of Kauthar from the Mubaarak hands of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
If only we would make Allah our Goal, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) our Model and the Quran our book of rules and regulations, we would be heading in the right direction.
Moulana Imraan Khamissa