Q&A: Football Fan

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QUESTION:

My son is an avid supporter of an English football club. He regularly logs onto the clubs website and follows all their activities. Often he would be dressed in the team colours and will wear a T-shirt with the name and number of his favourite player emblazoned on the back. His conversations with his friends and cousins are generally about football and “their” clubs. My wife and I differ on this issue. Whilst I am very concerned about this situation, my wife feels it is just a passing phase and that my son will grow out of it. She feels it is just an innocent pass time. Please advise as to what is the correct approach in this matter. (Summary of question).

 

ANSWER:

Our beautiful Deen encompasses every human need. Hence, Islam has not forbidden one from engaging in some form of relaxation in order to refresh the mind and body. The only rule is that the injunctions and spirit of Deen must not be compromised in any way. (The details of this aspect are beyond the scope of this article. One should refer to senior experienced Ulama for guidance).

The issue on hand is your son's support for “his” football club and whether this is an innocent means of relaxation? This can be answered from many perspectives. However, no matter how sound an argument is and how well it is supported by textual proof, there will always be people who will disagree, even though they have no real basis for the disagreement. Therefore the best way will be to actually go into the mind of a young football fan and gauge the degree of innocence or otherwise.

The following excerpt from an essay of a grade nine learner (yes, Muslim learner) will give us some idea. In his essay he describes the love for his team. He also has a dream of one day playing for “his” team but he cannot foresee his dream becoming a reality. He thus laments:

 “As I sleep in my cosy bed, I give my tired legs a rest and say: 'M.U. (abbreviation of the name of his team), the greatest football club. My heart’s with you, my mind’s thinking of you, my soul dies with you! I'm forever blowing pretty bubbles in the air. They fly so high, they reach the sky and like my dreams they fade and die. 'M.U., M.U.', I say repeatedly – but my dreams fade before my eyes. A soft tear rolls down my cheek....” 

Read the above excerpt again. The heart of a Mu'min filled with M.U.? The soul of a Mu'min dying with M.U.?!!! Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has encouraged us to keep refreshing our Imaan by repeatedly saying “Laa ilahaa illallah”. Instead many youth are repeating “M. U., M.U.”. One can only exclaim “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raajioon” upon this tragic situation. This is the idol worship of our times. Can one risk exposing one’s children to this idol worship? It is therefore imperative that we protect our children from this idol worship, and from whatever leads to it. Totally discourage them from following the kuffaar in their ways. We have the Sahaba (Radiyallah Anhum) as our guiding stars. Let us follow in their footsteps. 

 

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