Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Simple Inspiring Story From South Africa

Every so often, as a minority Muslim living in a non-Muslim land, we are tempted to take the easy way out. I was surfing my regular feed of cricket news this morning when I read about an inspiring story from some unexpected quarters.

I was reading about South African batsman Hashim Amla. He is a Muslim and a Test cricketer for South Africa, and one of their rising stars. This year his performance for the national team has been outstanding.

In a story where he condemned the Mumbai attacks, I also read this:
More so because while his teammates have a beer sponsor blazed across their clothing, Amla does not.

"It's nothing new. Since I made my debut in 2004 it was an issue then but fortunately South Africa is a country that is very understanding," he said before training this week. "We do come from a difficult past with racial prejudices.

"So our country is very much accepting to differences. I put in the request to the United Cricket Board at the time. They accepted and the sponsors were very accommodating as well. For me the issue is dead and buried with the team and the South African people."
[Source: Fox Sports | Rediff]
Now this is truly inspiring, if only in a simple way.

I know most people, myself included, if offered a position on the national team of your country for the sport you love, would not have objected to a beer's name on your T-shirt.

It's just a name, right?

I mean, we are not drinking the beer?

Amla, however, had stuck to his ideals, and Allah made the rest easy. He did not shy from taking the difficult first step and writing that request to abstain. Maybe the South African cricket board could have refused his request. But he tried. And so he succeeded.

I salute Hashim Amla for this.


Anonymous said...

This is an inspiring story indeed.

In times when the eaiser path seems so tempting and you don't want to be the one who bitches about 'little stuff' like beer logos, stories like this are truly inspirational. I've found what you say about Allah helping one along if we want to do something good holds true in my own own life too.

mezba said...

Misspecs: Indeed, so many times, it is just so easy to let things be, and not be the one to make a fuss.

Solace In Islam said...

Wow! I am from South Africa and never knew this!!!

'liya said...

Thanks for sharing, very inspiring indeed. Those South Africans rock! :D

Anonymous said...

I probably would have objected, but then not been strong enough to live up to my ideals, caved, and then felt badly about it the whole time yet done nothing.

mezba said...

Solace: Yup, I am such an avid follower of cricket and it was only a few days ago I found this story out!

Liya: South Africans rock indeed!

Sophister: haha, I know what you mean.

Suroor said...

Thanks for sharing this M! What a lovely story.

mezba said...

I thought it was a great story too. Much to learn from incidents like this.

Anonymous said...

Hashim Amla deserves our respect for keeping his beard and for his stand on the Beer Logo.
By the way do you remember he was called a "terrorist" by Cricket Commmentator Dean Jones when he took a catch in a match ?
Google for it

mezba said...

Yup, I do remember that incident. Dean Jones apologized for it though. I thought he was just joking.