Sister Aishah requested I did a post in my own words so this is what I came up with.
Reading the newspaper on Tuesday morning I came across an article with the headline ‘Football sickies up 19% already’. This was the headline on workplace absenteeism after just 2 days of the World Cup commencing. The article continued to mention that a study claims that this could rise to 40% absence in the workplace.
Allah alone knows what percentage of the above 19% is Muslim. However, of concern, from a religious angle, would be the absenteeism rate in the Masajid at prayer time for the duration of the World Cup. Based on past experience we know:
Some Muslims rush in to perform Fardh, and speed out swiftly after salams to end prayer
Some Muslims forego praying with the congregation in the Masjid, opting to pray at home instead
Other Muslims not only miss the prayer with congregation but they completely miss the prayer itself as a result of being so engrossed in the football game on the television.
It’s a sight to behold when you watch somebody performing the speed prayer because they are in a rush, they must have so much blood rushing to their head because of the speed with which they bow and prostrate!
Those who miss the prayer altogether so lightly and easily should contemplate the fact that we are told in the ahadith that one who neglects salaah deliberately is on the brink of kufr.
We need to also ponder over the ease with which a Muslim can sit in front of the telly for 90 minutes watching a football game without blinking, yet when top shuyukh from other parts of the country and the world visit we struggle to keep our attention and focus for longer than 20/30 minutes. That of course, is if we can even drag our self to attend the dars, lecture or talk.
If someone was to quiz us as to exactly what we achieve from watching the match, we would be hard-pressed to come up with any solid answers. But still we make grand efforts to ensure we are in front of the box with any possible distractions minimised before the whistle is blown to signify kick-off. Rather odd, especially seeing that despite being reminded time and time again of the virtues of prayer we just cant seem to make it before the first takbeer or iqamah for salaah is said.
And then do we apply as much sincerity and devotion to the performance of our prayer as we would do when watching the football match?
Its also peculiar that for a sporting or entertainment event we keep ourselves updated with exactly what is going on in other parts of the world, but when it comes to our attention of prejudice and injustices being perpetrated against the citizens of countries in parts of the world we seem to turn away and neglect the obligation we have for assisting them.
The purpose of this post was to bring to mind some important lessons which Muslims should draw from the current World Cup ambience which surrounds us and to ensure that we are not negligent in performing prayers. I pray Allah (swt) gives, firstly, me and then the readers the ability to act upon what has been said.