Q&A: World Cup

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Question:

The 2010 World Cup will soon be here. While almost everyone is very excited and eagerly awaiting it, some people are advising that we should not participate in it. Is this not unpatriotic? Please advise. (Question summarised)

 

Answer:

People get excited for different reasons. It all depends on one’s priorities, preferences and what one is passionate about. For some, the approach of the month of Ramadhaan brings immense joy and excitement. They can barely wait to receive what Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has described as a “Great Month.” Likewise, some people eagerly await the time of the next salaah. Many fortunate souls are thrilled every time that they complete a recitation of the Qur’an Shareef — which they do very often. Yet others are very enthusiastic every time they get an opportunity for da’wah — to invite somebody towards Allah Ta’ala and towards following Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Similarly, sharing the pain of the orphans, widows and destitute and alleviating their suffering gives many people immense joy. Indeed, sadly there are also those who get very excited about people kicking a ball around, who are thrilled to bits when “their” team wins and who grieve when it loses.

 

MILLIONS

Nevertheless, firstly consider the issue in question from a humanitarian perspective. While millions are spent to buy tickets to watch a ball being kicked around, millions of people around us are living in poverty. Daily, thousands of children go to school without having eaten anything. Millions of poor people do not have access to proper health care, especially people living in rural areas. Thousands of poor people requiring urgent surgery are given appointments in public hospitals to come a year later. Numerous children do not have access to basic education due to lack of facilities. Thus purely from a humanitarian perspective, what are the priorities? The supposed “economic benefits” that such events bring rarely reach the poor. A handful of rich people get richer, the upper and middle-class get entertained and the poor continue to suffer.

 

WHO WILL CARE?

While millions worldwide will grieve when “their” team loses, how many will feel the pain of those who went hungry to bed? How many people will cry for those who are dying a miserable death without any health care? Who will share the pain of the homeless?

While the humanitarian perspective is vitally important, for a Mu’min the Deeni perspective is the main issue. Count the cost of participation in such events from the point of view of being the followers and lovers of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Think! For weeks on end, people who have no link with Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) will be praised and lauded for kicking a ball, while Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) may not be spoken about even once!!!

Think! How many salaah will be missed because of football, even by many of those who usually perform it on time? Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “The one who misses one salaah is like he who has lost all his wealth and property.”

Think! How much Zina will take place in the name of the world cup, especially when one considers that legalising prostitution during the event was suggested at the highest levels of government!!! Think! How much drinking will take place? How many will get drunk celebrating their team’s victory and how many will get drunk to drown the sorrow of their team losing?

Think! Is this where a Muslim should be? A Muslim is a leader. He is not a passenger that jumps onto any passing bus that promises fun. He thinks. He understands. He gives priority to his Deen. He then gives priority to the needs of humanity over fun and games.

 

PATRIOTISM

As for patriotism, it does not require one to participate in every event in the country, even if it be an international one. What if there is a World Beer Cup festival – a festival of wine drinking? Likewise, consider an International Dancing Festival? Will it be unpatriotic to refrain? Indeed, as citizens of this country, it is our duty to protect the country, to assist its people, be kind and hospitable to its visitors and promote peace and harmony.

May Allah Ta`ala grant us the ability to understand the Truth and follow the straight path that leads directly to Jannah. Aameen.

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