by Shaykh Maulana Yunus Patel (rahmatullah alayh)
[This article was prepared before the World Cup 2010, which was hosted by South Africa. The advices relate and apply to all sports events, which are in conflict with Islamic teachings.]
The hype and talk presently is the World Cup. Soccer-mania has gripped the mind, the heart, the speech, the time and the money of many, many Muslims. And these many, many Muslims argue: “It’s ONCE IN A LIFETIME… It’s the World Cup which cannot be missed at any cost…”.
And we naively believe that these reasons give us the go-ahead to support, promote and participate.
But there is one serious fact that makes us unsuitable and incompatible for what I would describe as an International “upsurge of sins” – and that reason is: We are Muslims. And we are very fortunate that we are Muslims. As such, there is no compatibility between a Muslim and sin.
Let us discuss why we, as Muslims, cannot and should not align ourselves to the World Cup and other such sporting events.
Let us read with an open heart and mind.
REASONS WHY MUSLIMS SHOULD NOT ATTEND AND NOT SUPPORT THE WORLD CUP:
It is a common observance, that many, many Muslims are totally neglectful of Salaah when it comes to International, National or local sporting events.
Even those who have some link with the Masaajid, will choose to forego Salaah in Jamaat and even the Salaah itself, so as not to miss a moment in watching men run after a ball. Men, running after a ball – Is this intelligent?
Let us relate this to real life and the inevitable: How will this benefit us in this world and the hereafter? Will any one of these sports players be able to intercede on our behalf, before Allah Ta’ala, when we have to account for our actions, for our indulgence in futile and even Haraam activities?
Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Qur`aan Shareef, in Surah Munafiqoon: “But honour belongs to Allah, His Messenger and the Believers…” [Surah Munafiqoon 63 : 8]
And in Surah An-Nisaa: ‘To those who take for friends unbelievers rather than Believers: is it honour they seek among them? Nay, – all honour is with Allah.’
To deal honestly and truthfully with disbelievers or to assist the poor and needy amongst them, are from the teachings of Islam.
However, to integrate with them in such a manner, that we lose our Islamic identity or give up on our Islamic culture is prohibited because this is extremely harmful to one’s Imaan.
So we find people going absolutely crazy and wild over soccer players, cricket players and their likes. And one wonders, what is all the clamour and fuss about… when their “outstanding” achievement in life seems to be, kicking, throwing or hitting a ball? Does this call for hero-worship? Is this our shallow understanding of success as Muslims?
Do we not know that the most successful of all people are the Ambiyaa and their followers? Are we even aware of the tremendous successes of the Sahabah? They were MEN. And Brave Men. Their history, their feats, their conquests drown out the thousands of insignificant goals scored by soccer players.
Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur`aan Shareef: ‘O People of Imaan! Do not take My enemies and your enemies as friends, inclining towards them with love. Verily, they have rejected the truth which has come to you (from your Rabb)’ [Surah Mumtahina 60 : 1]
We seem to very easily forget that we are Muslims and all Muslims have dangerous enemies: So whilst our enemies shrewdly convince us to spend thousands of Rands, waste our energy and time on useless, futile sports such as the World Cup and other sporting events, they gleefully bomb, kill, rape, oppress and harass our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world … but we are so intoxicated with World Cups, cricket and soccer matches, that we don’t even know our enemies have deceived us!
When we claim to have love for Allah Ta’ala, how can we love these types of sporting events?
Allah Ta’ala advises us: “O you who Believe! Take not for friends unbelievers rather than Believers : do you wish to offer Allah and open proof against yourselves?”
In other words, we should not make the unbelievers our bosom pals.
Once again, it does not mean that we should not treat them with kindness, deal honestly and assist when there is need. …However: Will participation and support in the World Cup attract them towards Islam?
Almost every venue, event and occasion today seems to demand “music” as part of the entertainment. As Muslims, we know fully well, that music is not the “pleasure” of a true believer because Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) specifically mentioned that one of his objectives was to destroy musical instruments.
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “My Rabb has commanded me to destroy all musical instruments…” and also: “Music causes hypocrisy to grow in the heart just as water causes crops to grow.”
According to another Hadeeth of Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam): ‘Music is from shaytaan and accommodating it in anyway is Nifaaq (hypocrisy).’
Then, would it be morally correct for a MUSLIM to be present at an event where music is ‘a must have’?
The Ahadith make mention : “Wine is the gatherer of sin.”
“Wine is the leader of all indecency and is from among the major sins…”
Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) also said: “Abstain from consuming wine, for verily it is the key to all evil.”
Every person that is associated to alcohol – be it the manufacturer, the one who transports, the one who sells, buys or serves comes under the curse of Allah Ta’ala. And those who keep company and incline towards the transgressors have to contend with the same consequences, for Allah Ta’ala warns us: “And do not incline towards the wrongdoers, lest the fire should catch you, and you have no supporters other than Allah, then you should not be helped.” [Surah Hud 11: 113]