Ramadan vs the World Cup
—Which Team Are You In?
by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh)
The Finta of the World Cup and other sporting events
We all know that certain snakes and scorpions are extremely dangerous, and when they attack, their venom or sting causes great harm and can even lead to death. Lions, cheetahs, and other wild animals attack, maim and kill. However, their harm is on the physical body —and the physical body must inevitably die.
Then we have the snakes, scorpions, and wild animals that attack the person’s soul and Imaan. They sometimes maim and even kill the person’s Imaan and spirituality.
There is no doubt that the environment is a jungle of Fitnah and Fasaad: It is extremely dangerous, with its vicious Fitnas.
And now we find ourselves in a period where we also have the missiles of Fitnah targeting the Imaan of the Muslims and bombs of Fitnah raining down upon the Muslims.
For those who want to restrain themselves and please Allah Ta’ala, these times are a real Jihaad because there are even those who are outwardly Deendar but who advocate, promote, and support these Fitnas.
On the outside, there is Deen; there is the garb of the pious —but the person is caught up in the same Fitnas. So many watch on the television or go to those places. Young children or wives have written that the fathers or husbands, who are otherwise so Deendar, forego their Salaah in Jamaat or even forgo their Salaah because they are viewing the World Cup or the Cricket Rugby or any other sport on television. Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi ra’jioon.
We all know that the World Cup is a tsunami of Fitnahs —It is an international upsurge of sins. What not takes place and happens at these events —and we lend ourselves to all these sins. There is so much of Haraam, which is as clear as daylight —but we still justify our viewing and participation.
We should hang our heads in shame if we are projecting the image of piety to the world, but are obeying Shaytan in private. This is what is termed as hypocrisy; Nifaaq. It is the currency of the time. The person has two faces: A public face and a private face.
But we cannot hide our true selves from Allah Ta’ala.
Regarding the soccer matches, young people will ask: “If we cannot attend and view the World Cup, what do we do?”
We have to find alternatives. There’s no other way.
We will not say that everyone must sit down in the Masjid, read Qur'an Sharif, read Tasbeeh and do nothing else.
What is necessary and crucial is that the person runs from those environments of sins. We have to distance ourselves from venues of sins. We have to run towards Allah Ta’ala:
“…So flee to Allah….”
[Surah Adh-Dhariyat 51:50]
No doubt, this is a Jihad for many. But if we have love for Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), then we should make every effort to restrain ourselves from sins, knowing that sins will bring about a destruction of our Imaan will displease Allah Ta’ala and cause hurt and grief to the sensitive heart of Rasulullah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
With this soccer mania and frenzy, the majority are only talking about the different teams and players, the goals they scored, and the condition of this team and that team. It is just soccer, soccer, football, football —all the time. What a waste of precious time.
So here is a young person who was, at one time, addicted to the same. He is being encouraged to join them. The person will feel pressured. How is he going to restrain himself?
If he is seeking Allah Ta’ala’s Pleasures, he will have to flee from that company because it is a temptation to get caught up in Fitnah. The person will have to make new friends –friends who will take him to the Masjid, talk of good things, and move in the direction of good deeds.
So, avoid the soccer company.
Talk, eat, drink —just don’t go to any home where people will be viewing those soccer matches. If ten of them are sitting and watching, they will be dominant against one person.
They will be screaming and jumping, and they will convince the person to join in watching a group of adult men run after a ball. Is this intelligence? Viewing adult men kicking a ball?
Stay away from the soccer supporters and addicts; otherwise, they will pull you in.
As that poet said:
“Last night, the person went to advise those who were drinking in the bar, but when he came out, he had a wobble in his walk.”
Keeping yourself occupied with the permissible and Mubaah company is extremely important. It is for these reasons that Rasulullah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“A person is on the Deen (way of life) of his friend, so every one of you should look at whom he befriends.”
We need to be very careful and cautious regarding whom we mix with and integrate with.
If a huge python is approaching us, and we can see it coming closer, will we remain where we are, or will we look for the nearest exit? Will we admire the snake’s skin and go towards it to touch and feel it?
In all those venues of sins, where filthy films are screened, or people are dancing and partying, drinking, and committing other sins, if someone suddenly starts screaming: “Fire! Fire!”, then is everyone going to continue with the dance and the party and the sports? Or are they going to dash for the doors and exits?
If someone announces that there is a bomb in the area, in the vicinity, and it has been activated, will the person remain there to see whether it is true or not?
We are so careful about our physical health, well-being, and the protection of our lives. There should also be caution and concern for our Imaan —to a far greater extent.
In this regard, there is nothing better than turning towards Allah Ta’ala and enjoying Sukoon (tranquillity) in life.
Amid Fitnah also, the person can enjoy Sukoon. Although so much Haraam is taking place all around, the person’s condition will be like the waterproof watch.
If a person dives deep down into the ocean, that watch which is waterproof, will not be affected by the water because water cannot enter that watch. Allah Ta’ala will make the person’s heart like that. All the madness and hubbub will not enter that heart when that heart has been placed in the protection of Allah Ta’ala.
In this same football match, we can take some lessons. If one side has scored two goals and there are still ten minutes to go till the final whistle, those players won’t relax. They won’t say: “We already have two goals; why must we worry?” They say: “Ten minutes to go —we don’t know what will happen in the ten minutes.”
In ten minutes, anything can happen. The opposition can score more goals.
If it is a major match that will be played in this World Cup, all teams will be alert and sharp and will protect their goal. Even if they have scored two or three goals, but there are ten minutes to go, each team will go all-out until the final whistle is blown.
In a similar vein, the Mu’min has to be alert and sharp. He keeps a check that nafs and Shaytan are not attacking his Imaan, and he continues in obedience to Allah Ta’ala until the final whistle is blown—so to say; until death comes.
“…and worship your Rabb until the certainty (death) comes to you”
[Surah Al-Hijr 15:99 ]
Like how those players protect their goal, the Believer is the goalkeeper of his heart and protects his heart. He does not allow Shaytan to infiltrate or gain the upper hand, which continues lifelong.
Just a few days of Mujahada —and really, it is a few days. All these storms will soon pass, and the days will fly. After that, everything gets back to routine, and it will be then that people will realise the restlessness, the blunders that they have made, and the other kinds of problems they will then face.
The government will also realise what it has done and how much was wasted. They could have used the billions to build thousands of homes and done so much else.
So, this is my message: Don’t feel it is impossible to avoid. Don’t think: It cannot be avoided.
It is not that difficult. We avoid so many other things. Why can we not avoid this?
Look at the restlessness these events bring – for thirty days or thirty-five days. May Allah Ta’ala save me, save you and protect the Ummah.
Don’t look at what people are doing, and don’t argue and fight with others. So many are listing the “benefits” and “virtues” of the World Cup.
Allah Ta’ala’s Shan is sometimes Jalali, sometimes Jamali. We don’t know which Shan of Allah Ta’ala is focused on when. Therefore, we have to be very careful and cautious.
Sometimes, a person believes: My Allah is pleased with me because He is giving me plentiful to eat, drink, wear, and travel around. I have a good car, a good home, and everything, but it could be Istidraj – It could be that Allah Ta’ala gives everything, and in the midst of all the Haraam enjoyment, Allah Ta’ala seizes and punishes.
What will we earn of Deen and Aakhirah in all this time spent in these sporting events, in hours and hours, days and days watching men run after a ball —especially those, who will shuttle from this end to that end, this province to that province, and this stadium to that stadium? And after that, the discussions will centre around the same thing – 24 hours of the day – the person will be engaging in absolute futility.
‘Dunya’ is what makes the person forget Allah Ta’ala, and in that forgetfulness and heedlessness, he wastes his time and chases after temporary pleasures.
Ghaflat (heedlessness) is the hen that lays the eggs of sins.
Allah Ta’ala has given everybody intellect and intelligence – put it to use.
When anyone is engaged in uselessness and spends hours and hours in this manner, it is a clear sign that Allah Ta’ala’s gaze of Rahmat has been turned away from this person.
Can that person then enjoy peace of mind, contentment, and satisfaction?
Will he experience these blessings? Even abundant wealth will bring nothing but restlessness. It will be like the flood waters – which brings Bilharzia with it. Although the waters are plentiful, it carries sickness.
When we talk about the evils, we talk about it in general. We do not point a finger at any person, nor do we say or believe that he will go to Jahannam or suffer the Azaab of Allah Ta’ala because of whatever he does. We are not the Judge. Allah Ta’ala is. We have no right to make such deductions. We do not know when that person will make sincere Taubah from his sins and become a Wali of Allah Ta’ala.
“…Verily Allah loves those who repent…”
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2:222]
Yes, we can speak about general conditions, and this is what we are doing, and we are doing so to warn and caution and fulfil the duty of Amr bil Ma’roof and Nahi anil Munkar.
In the Ahadith, we find that Nabi (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would say: “When people will do this…,” “When people will engage in this…,” “when people will engage in that…” — this will happen, that will happen, that will happen.
Of course, we must look at our weaknesses too. Whilst trying to take care of the spiritual needs of others, we must not forget our own spiritual needs.
So, the message is this: Avoid the company that takes you away from Allah Ta’ala; avoid the venues and the updates on the media and social networks, which will tempt you to join in. Flee from anything that opens the door to Allah Ta’ala’s displeasure. Keep the company of those who will take you closer to Allah Ta’ala and keep occupied in what is good and Mubaah (permissible).
May Allah Ta’ala grant us all the Taufiq and understanding, and may Allah Ta’ala bless us with such love for Him that we don’t move in the direction of His Displeasure – and we work towards our meeting with Him, Aameen.
 Abu Dawud