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abu_anas
06-17-2006, 10:29 AM
Football – The New Religion



Exhausting time and effort, spending money, showing affection, supporting and caring about, following and imitating, arguing and debating over, fighting and defending…you would be forgiven for thinking that we were talking about something important and significant, only these are some of the regular activities of the average football supporter.



Football is the most popular sport in the world and with the World Cup taking place, millions of people will take time to reflect on their new found religion. People will take time off work to ensure they are able to watch it live; they will delay their household chores, change their routine and even skip meals if that’s what it takes. The football fever has captivated the masses, dedicating their time and effort towards it.



People will spend hundreds and thousands of pounds for this religion of theirs, travelling to other parts of the world in support of their team, paying hundreds for tickets, buying the football shirt, flag and other emblems representing their side. They will spend hours watching it on the television screens, listening to all the commentary and discussions surrounding it, watching repeats and even highlights. They will sit amongst others debating and discussing about it for hours, speaking as ambassadors for their team, they will discuss strategy, tactics and mistakes; they will review past games and future possibilities predicting the outcome. These discussions stimulate peoples' sentiments making them become very emotional and zealous, often leading to disputes and arguments. They will like and dislike others on the basis of which team they support, often fighting and harming those who oppose them. It hurts them to see their team suffer in loss, shedding tears for the cause, whilst they laud and celebrate when they win, bringing happiness and joy to their hearts. They will jump down the throats of those who so much as even dare to criticise their god rising to defend it at all costs.



This is the reality of the football supporter, a stern believer in his new religion and an ardent fan.



The football World Cup is where countries throughout the world compete against one another in a knockout tournament that takes place once every four years. Naturally, the inhabitants of the countries participating are expected to provide support for their home team. The citizens of these countries rally together to back their national team in the hope of gaining some national pride and international credibility. The feelings of nationalism are rife among the people and are openly visible.



The sad fact of the matter is that many Muslims have fallen for this new religion and they too carry the national flag, devoting time and effort, showing support for one country over the next. They stand proud behind this flag and what it represents, passionately declaring this openly not realising what it actually represents. They waste valuable and precious time that can be spent doing better things on following football, they exhaust effort and spend money towards it, they follow and imitate football players whether in their names or appearance and children grow up taking many of them as role models. These are the same Muslims who cannot even take 10 minutes out to pray their Salah or read the Qur'aan, they do not bother about the affairs of the Muslim Ummah and they do not even raise an eyebrow at the killing of Muslims or at the occupation of Muslim lands. They are ignorant about Islam and do not care to learn about it, they are fully engrossed in their new religion because that is what gives them joy and brings them happiness. They are even willing to support those countries that are responsible for shedding Muslim blood and are willing to befriend such people if they share common interests. They put aside all differences and the only thing that matters to them is the team they support as this is what their brotherhood is based upon.



Allah (SWT) says: "Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children, as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw." [EMQ 57:20]



Competitions of this nature whether they be the football World Cup, Olympics, Commonwealth Games or any other are designed to further inflame the idea of nationalism, keeping alive this concept in the minds of the masses. The only other circumstance where this inflammation of national pride amongst the people arises is during war and external threat, when the whole country unites under the national flag and stands together to fight against the enemy. Competitions like these are an artificial enactment of a war type situation where the people are urged to stand up for their country. The national flag becomes a symbol of pride and honour distinguishing one set of people from the other. The division of the people based upon their sovereign states is reinforced creating hostility and hatred between them.



This is another one of the colonial crusader schemes to perpetuate these ideas in the minds of the people so that they continue to accept the notion of sovereign states. They aim to build national pride into the hearts of the people believing themselves to be better than others giving them a cause by which to prove this with.



These artificial pretences are nothing but mere play and games that prove nothing except the ignorance and decadence of a nation. The nationalism put into the minds of the Muslims aims at keeping us disunited and at difference with one another, yet this very concept goes against our belief. The idea of nation states and division of people based upon them is not part of Islam. The identity of a Muslim is the belief of al-Islam and this is what elevates us giving us a cause to live by and die for. The difference between people is not based upon the colour of the skin, nationality or racial origin; rather it is based purely upon the level of Imaan and fear of Allah (SWT).



Allah (SWT) says: "O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has at-Taqwaa (fear of God). Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware." [EMQ 49:13]



The Messenger Muhammad (SAW) severely condemned nationalism and those who call for it when he said: "He is not from us who calls for nationalism, fights for nationalism and dies for nationalism." [Sunan Abee Daawud]



Football is the deen (religion) by which people live their lives by and are willing to die for. The messengers of this deen are its players who the people follow and imitate; the aqeedah (creed) of a believer in this religion is based upon the devotion, support, obedience and worship of their one team; their walaa (alliance) is with those who support the same team, and baraa'ah (disavowal) is made against everyone else. Their pilgrimage is to attend the matches whether at home or abroad. Their jihaad is to fight against those who are arch rivals against their team. Their da'wah (call, invitation) is to publicise, defend and justify their team, inviting others to support them in this.
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Nablus
06-17-2006, 02:11 PM
People will spend hundreds and thousands of pounds for this religion of theirs, travelling to other parts of the world in support of their team, paying hundreds for tickets, buying the football shirt, flag and other emblems representing their side. They will spend hours watching it on the television screens, listening to all the commentary and discussions surrounding it, watching repeats and even highlights
on the other hand ,people are dying bcz they dont have enough food to feed their bodies and families in Somalia
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Trumble
06-17-2006, 03:17 PM
I don't know where it comes from, but the initial article is on a far from "new" theme (apart from the "colonial crusader" rubbish - THAT's new)... that theme really just being a word-game of sorts.

Football, like many other things people become obsessed with, is not a religion. Religious studies students enjoy bringing it up, though, particularly in the context of how hard it is (and it is!) to define religion. Virtually whatever you come up with that might encompass all the major world religions can arguably be applied to football as well. As it can be applied to some political ideologies, Marxism being the classic example. The point is though, that however we may struggle with the words, most people KNOW what is a religion and what is not. Football is not.

Whether instead of spending money on inflated ticket prices, travelling abroad to watch, or buying football merchandise, people should be using it to help the needy is a different question!
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