Sunday, June 13, 2010

At the local mosque: World Cup Has Begun

This Friday I took a day off and had the time to attend Friday noon prayers at the big mosque near home. I went to the 1.45 prayers, that way giving me enough time to come home and catch the 2nd game of the World Cup.

The imam was giving a speech on ... the World Cup. Ah, this should be interesting!

"In Islam, there is NOTHING wrong with sports. Football is a good game and keeps you fit. So in Islam there is nothing WRONG with the game but ..."

I KNEW IT. There would be a "but". But why?

"some people take it too excess and forget their prayers and this is why it's very bad .."

Oh man! (Can I says Jeee-sus!) Why, of ALL the terrible problems facing your community you are taking out your anger on football?

I can say the following also.

"In Islam, there is NOTHING wrong with eating. Eating is a good activity and keeps you healthy. So in Islam there is nothing WRONG with the eating but some people take it to excess and miss the prayers ..."

Then the imam continued, "some people watch the games late at night and miss Fajr prayers."

Er, imam? If you take a look at the schedule (it's available on the CBC website) you can see all the games are in the morning in Canada. In fact, if you pray Fajr you can actually wake up in time to catch the earliest game! You are imam in Canada, why you are you giving the speech an imam in Bangladesh would make? I mean today, I woke up for Fajr prayers partly because the Algeria-Slovenia game was soon after. In hindsight I should have gone straight to bed (one team doesn't know how to score and the other doesn't want to score).

But, imam, what if I say, "some people catch a little 'action' *wink wink* late at night and miss Fajr prayers."

So if, imam, you are not warning about the eating and the 'action' why are you taking out your ire against the football World Cup? Surprisingly I haven't heard a thing about the Cricket World Cup. At 8 hours per game surely you are missing more than ONE prayer there!

It's not a unique thing. If you take a look at the supposedly #1 muslim blog MuslimMatters on their recent post about the World Cup, you will see all sort of weird comments. Some guys are concerned that players play in shorts.

There must be something wrong with some muslims if the sight of a MAN's bony knee can turn a muslim MAN on. And every concern about these supposed muslim creatures seem to be a woman's ankle or a guy's knee which turns them on. Must be some repressed people - these so-called salafists.

Why can't you just give thanks to God for the beautiful game that is soccer and pray to Allah so that your countries win and produce a decent squad? I mean, Canada's team can't beat a country like Honduras. Now that, would be a talking point.

I would love to see a cool imam who goes "ah the World Cup is here. Just for clarification I am supporting such-and-such team (perhaps England, to score against them you just shoot AT the goalie). But. I am also here taking care of my obligations to Allah. Which all of you can also. Never forget your prayers come first (and especially England needs all the prayers it can get). So, while you enjoy your games, eat and do 'other stuff', remember to give to charity, say your prayers and help the downtrodden."

Now that would be a great goal.

27 comments:

Muslim Girl said...

My comment on the MM article:

"If the sports industry is designed to delude us and take us away from what actually matters in the reality of things… you guys just totally fell into the trap since you have spent so much time and effort talking about something so useless when a much more eminent issue could have been discussed.

Like, REALLY, guys? SOCCER???"

Ammara said...

i agree with u perfectly ... they need to calm down... i ws shocked in usa... how typically paki the mosques were... exactly a duplicate of the lahori mosques...
nd i love ur blog lay out

mezba said...

Muslim Girl, and this post had some of their least detestable set of comments. The recent comments on the mosque rights for women's space had one comment that required women to dress like black crows if they wanted to enter the mosque. Not to mention the FGM comments on another post. I am very surprised by some of the commentators they have attracted.

Ammara, I think it's a big problem that the mosque leadership does not reflect the make up of the community, or their ways of thinking.

Azra said...

Oh Geez! I said the EXACT same thing today!! I said the only reason these Imams complain is because Asian teams like India, Pakistan etc didn't make the cut and that no one would have said anything if it this was Cricket.

I do believe that anything that is not overtly haraam is permissible provided that it does not prevent you from adhering to our Compulsions aka Fardh. Since in Islam there are REALLY only 5 compulsions: Salaah (fardh), Fasting if your health permits, Zakaat if you have the means, Hajj if you can afford it and Tauhid, it is fairly easy and simple to follow.

Everything else we do in Islam aside from these 5 pillars (like growing a beard, reading in congregation, ladies covering our hair), is purely for our own good and is beneficial to us for a myriad of reasons which include our physical, mental and emotional well being... but there is no compulsion in them.

Let us not forget that Islam is all about moderation :)

PS. I was so disappointed that Algeria lost.

PPS. I hate sexually repressed Asians who make ludicrous statements and excuses for their Oedipal complexes. The Sahaba (and even women) would approach the Prohet SAW and talk openly about sex to seek advice, so I don't know where they get their issues from!

TManiac said...

ROFL!!!! U have got to be kidding me, Mezba Bhai!!! LOL!!!

Oh and btw, I saw your dad and brother on the UofT campus last Tuesday. Apparently you just graduated this week from UofT with an MBA? Congratulations on that, Bhai!!!

BTW, its Taha over here!!!!

PS: What team you cheering for? So far, my top 4 are: Brazil, South Korea, Argentina, and Germany :)

'liya said...

I wonder if all imams are giving similar lectures! My dad told me the Friday one in Mississauga was very similar.

Anyways, I wish the community would see the good that comes out of this kind of thing. Muslim youth NEED sports, it's the best hobby for them at a time when all kids do is play videogames. It's healthy and keeps kids active. Why do they always need to be so negative about everything? My dad plays on a soccer team and coaches my brothers community soccer team (volunteer work, not paid). My dad also goes to the mosque everyday morning to pray Fajr. Why can't all the men who complain on that forum do both? Really, do we need to complain about everything!! It really is a shame that we can't embrace something like this as a positive family activity.

:D

Naeem: said...

AA-

Yeah, I've never been a fan of the stale arguments against sports (such as missing prayer and uncovering the awrah). I much prefer the more mature, well-developed arguments against it. :-P

And c'mon Mezba, be a bit more intellectually honest in your critique of those darn salafists. The issue of uncovering one's awrah is as much about curbing sexual arousal as the prohibition of pork is about dietary concerns.

You know better than that my friend.

Anonymous said...

"...the sight of a MAN's bony knee can turn a muslim MAN on." Really? Oh my! I didn't know that! :D

Soccer is BIG! Everyone I know is cheering for some country.And I still do not know mine :) Maybe France? :)

Lat

azlin said...

mezba for imam!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the sane comment you made on MM. Anything taken to the extremes can be destructive, including religion. I find it weird for a man to be talking about another man's knees. If we women are not complaining, what is their problem?

Nadia said...

The imam has a point, however, there is always a nicer, more sensible way to remind people of their Islamic obligations. But they usually start with sports is bad, TV is bad, Facebook is bad ...

Given how football crazy the locals here are, I don't think they will give the same speech like you mentioned :D

Mashriqi said...

You touched on a GREAT point, one that is crucial but is badly ignored. It's very irritating to see how narrow-minded and ignorant imams are. I feel that the problem is that the people who go into religious profession, undergo studies that do not grant them much 'exposure'. Hafiz studies do not include important subjects such as psychology, sociology and globalization. Changing the syllabus would produce much more well-rounded imams that are well aware about today's and especially the new generation's practical realities.

The Arab world's political and academic leadership is mostly hopeless, south-east asia's muslims are openly racist against their non-muslim countrymen, this leaves only Turkey. Perhaps Turkey can set an example for the whole muslim world by producing and implementing a mordern and well rounded syllabus for those pursuing Hafiz/ Aalim studies or other religious education. I feel that COMPARATIVE RELIGION is also a very important subject left out of Islamic studies.

It's really pathetic to see the low standards we muslims have fallen to after leading the world for 1200 years.

Its good to see an open-minded muslim such as yourself, especially from Bangladesh.

youngMuslimah said...

he should be glad it's not 'sex and the city' or some other trashy show fever that's going on!

youngMuslimah said...

btw i think you should have taken it up with the imam. Islam is abt moderation. How can a soccer world cup be called extreme when it just happens what once every 4 yrs? Im sure a lot of ppl dont care much abt soccer unless its a huge tournament or something...

Safiya Outlines said...

Salaam Alaikum,

Just wanted to say that your comment on the 'Women at the Mosque' post was fantastic. MM commenters are scary. It's a shame, because there are some good aspects to MM, but it is held back a section of its readers.

mezba said...

Azra, I think these imams still suffer

from a cultural perspective where they find

things easier to criticize when it's not from

their culture. They are more into cricket than

soccer, so soccer is good to criticize!

And the reason about obsessing about sex from

some of the mullahs makes me cringe, every time

I hear. Honestly, some of the speeches at

khutbahs makes me wonder just how FAR are the

mullahs from the average Muslims!

TManiac, thanks for the congrats, yes I

did convocate last week.

'liya, haha I think all the imams are

indeed saying similar stuff. And all listeners

will again similarly ignore the speech! :-D
Muslim youth NEED sports.

Absolutely. Most of the youth I see are

terrible fat. Many think eating Popeyes is good

an worthy of a reward because it is halal.

Popeyes should be haram because of its fatness

inducing oil!

Really, do we need to complain about

everything!! It really is a shame that we can't

embrace something like this as a positive

family activity.


Absolutely. I wish we would give thanks for the

wonderful gamethat is football.

Naeem, Winston Churchill once said

"democracy is the worst form of government

except all the others that have been tried."

So given that, I don't think the politicians

are using sports to hide or divert the public's

attention. Even if, say England wins

(unlikely), the British public will still

demand answers over Afghanistan, the banking

sector, and so on. Rather, what is powerful in

democracies is media.

As for the awrah part, I would not bring it up

if the salafists didn't!

Lat, ah France. This year the Les Bleus

really have the blues.

Azlin, :-D

Anon, If we women are not

complaining, what is their problem?
lol.

Nadia, that's the thing - there is

always a point, but it's made in such a bad

manner! :-D I see sports and other things as

neutral, it could be good, it could be bad

(hence the English term 'soccer widows').

Nah, I don't think I have ever heard such a

speech in the UAE! Although, to be fair, it was

in Arabic ...

Marshriqi, welcome to my blog.

I think you are right. Imams do not have

training in other fields yet feel qualified to

give advice in other fields. For example, some

imam here recently tried to give counselling on

Muslim couples' marital problems. While the

issue may be a real and true needy one, yet the

imam wasn't the best qualified to be going into

that area!

Youngmuslimah, nah, I think they have

given up on that!

As for taking it up with the imam, I don't even

think people who try to make the worshippers

exit through different gates (one for men, one

for women) even during an emergency exit are

good candidates to be talked to!

Safiya, thank you. The commentators on MM recently have gotten very extremist and sadly it looks like the writers are catering to them.

youngMuslimah said...

if it's an emergency i can understan your point, but it was commanded by the prophet (salAllahu'alaihee wasallam) to let women go first thru the door.

amad said...

As Naeem said, try to be a bit more intellectually honest bro...

the entire FGM fiasco was something that you shouldn't be particularly proud of, since the people on it were against FGM, but discussing some other stuff that talked about ways to increase "the pleasure". I disagreed of course as I made clear and none of the MM authors agreed. However, there was nothing in the comments that would call for censorship.

I found more and more your threats of censorship hypocritical. On one front, liberalism is about free speech. Yet, you keep harping about curbing it. If you don't let people spew what they want to, within some limits, they won't simply disappear. Hiding from the more extreme elements is not the solution.

Finally, I don't know what you mean by "catering to them", but MM's vision is clear and guided by orthodoxy. There are respectable ways to disagree, instead of throwing around innuendo and rumors.

wsalaam
amad

P.s. by the way MM is the top Islamic blog online, not because we are saying so, but because that's what the stats say. May Allah forgive us for our mistakes and grant us success only for His sake.

amad said...

As Naeem said, try to be a bit more intellectually honest bro...

the entire FGM fiasco was something that you shouldn't be particularly proud of, since the people on it were against FGM, but discussing some other stuff that talked about ways to increase "the pleasure". None of the authors agreed with this concept as I stated clearly. However, there was nothing in the comments that would call for censorship. The women who were discussing it were obviously not the "oppressed" kind, but rather those who really believed in some sort of benefit in chipping away at you know what.

I found more and more your threats of censorship hypocritical. On one front, liberalism is about free speech. Yet, you keep harping about curbing it. If you don't let people spew what they want to, within some limits, they won't simply disappear. Hiding from the more extreme elements is not the solution. Tackling the issues is the way forward. A lot of these more extreme-right individuals have no other "online sanctuary" that is close to their form of orthodoxy. So, we are as close as they can get, and this is our opportunity to guide them more to the center.

Finally, I don't know what you mean by "catering to them", but MM's vision is clear and guided by orthodoxy. There are respectable ways to disagree, instead of throwing around innuendo and rumors. You cry wolf enough times and you know what happens.

wsalaam
amad

P.s. by the way MM is the top Islamic blog online, not because we are saying so, but because that's what the stats say. May Allah forgive us for our mistakes and grant us success only for His sake.

mezba said...

Young Muslimah, can you give me the source for that hadith? Jazaaks.

Amad, when I read the women's sexuality article on MM, it was clear that a lot of the commentators were letting the FGM comments slide. Many of the commentators seemed to believe in FGM as part of Islam.

What I criticised MM was that even though the comment was edited for length, an editor should have immediately added rebuttal. This was not done.

You are being intellectually dishonest if you are misrepresenting my criticism. I immediately said, on that post,

It is a shame that these comments condoning a horrible practice such as FGM are being allowed to go unchallenged by the MM editors.

One could think they are also of the same view. It’s not that the fact that all comments cannot be policed, this comment WAS edited by MM for excerpts, so it’s not that they didn’t see it. Shame!


As you can see, the comment was SEEN by MM, so they cannot argue the comment was missed.

Also, as TOP BLOG in the Muslim blogosphere (by whatever standards) you have a duty to present Islam properly. What will a non-Muslim think as he reads the site? That Muslims see nothing wrong with FGM.

You said

I found more and more your threats of censorship hypocritical. On one front, liberalism is about free speech. Yet, you keep harping about curbing it.

I don't understand what you mean. I am not asking for censorship but a rebuttal of false claims about FGM.

If you don't let people spew what they want to, within some limits, they won't simply disappear.

You betray yourself here. What and who sets those limits, and what are they?

Hiding from the more extreme elements is not the solution. Tackling the issues is the way forward. A lot of these more extreme-right individuals have no other "online sanctuary" that is close to their form of orthodoxy. So, we are as close as they can get, and this is our opportunity to guide them more to the center.

So you do admit that quite many of your commentators are extreme. I agree. But I don't see any guidance to any 'centre'. On the contrary, recent posts on MM has:

1. Asked women to stay home after having a kid
2. Asked whether watching the FIFA world cup is a haram activity
3. Stated that pursuit of wealth is an un-Islamic activity

In fact, one of the better articles arguing against marginalization of muslim women in mosques was shot down by many of your commentators.

So again, your problems are your commentators. As long as you keep feeding them (i.e. not denying their ridiculous comments) they will keep coming and by association your site will get a bad rep.

That's what the stats say.

youngMuslimah said...

Ibn `Umar related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said about one of the mosque’s doors: “We should leave this door exclusively for women to use.” Ibn `Umar, until he died, never again entered through that door. [Sunan Abî Dâwûd with a sound chain of transmission. Al-Albânî says: “This hadîth is authentic according to the conditions set down by Bukhârî and Muslim.”]

you can read more here:

http://sisters.islamway.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=824

amad said...

Your comment reflects nothing but more dishonesty. The descriptors you chose for the posts reflect your own bias and prejudice, and not the content.

We definitely operate on different plains ideologically. I hope you fully recognize that your own views are not in the center either, they are decidedly left so why don't you start being honest about that first. Obviously everything right of you appears conservative. A guest poster mentions the fitan of wealth and you find that obnoxious as if Allah Himself didn't mention it in the Qur'an. You completely misread the post, just as you continue to misread the FGM thing through your colored glasses.

But one thing we will not do is to try deceive people about what others mean and what they don't, which you are busy trying to do with repeated attacks on MM.

The posts linked are there for everyone to see. Mainstream Muslims will recognize them to be quite normal, just like the vast majority of Muslims in the Tristate region (online and offline) found some of the pray-in tactics and participants problematic. Perhaps that should tell you something about yourself, and not about us. There is safety in numbers, esp. when it comes to Islamic matters.

This is my last comment on this subject. Good luck with your crusade against MM... May Allah forgive our mistakes and help us maintain knowledge based on the sunnah, and not on our whims and the latest fad.

mezba said...

Young Muslimah, thank you for the link.

I read it, and to me there are some contradictory parts. For example the article does accept that men and women were in the same place during the time of the Prophet, yet does not approve of the same thing today.

As for the hadith you mentioned, I don't know how one can draw the conclusion that men and women must always exit from different doors.

In the mosque I mentioned, that door is open for both to enter, but only when you exit do the mosque people direct you to different doors!

Amad, we have to agree to disagree here because the posts and links are there for everyone to read, and people can draw their own conclusions.

youngMuslimah said...

I think they are trying to say that men and woman can be in the same place together but they shouldnt mix and talk freely w/o any necessity. Allahu'alam.
personally, i think its better to have separate doors for men and women in the masajids. i have been to a masjid once in saudi with one door and it was really uncomfortable. i kept bumping into men lol my dad later told the mosque authorities and they opened a separate door for women.

mezba said...

Given that it's Saudi, I am not surprised! :-)

rawi said...

Great post, and amen to that last paragraph! Not sure if I'll ever hear that from a pulpit, but here's hoping...

mezba said...

Rawi, welcome back!