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September 5th, 2014

Sport and Salvation

Submitted by a friend of this Blog.

In Dawn's online edition there is a news item about an exchange between a Pakistani and Sri Lankan cricketer during Pakistan's current tour to Sri Lanka (see link). The relevant portion is as follows:

ISLAMABAD: Religious comments by Pakistan batsman Ahmed Shehzad to Sri Lanka player Tillakaratne Dilshan after their one-day international last Saturday are being investigated by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

While the players were walking back to the dressing room in Dambulla, Sri Lanka, Shehzad was caught on camera telling Dilshan “if you are a non-Muslim and you turn Muslim, no matter whatever you do in your life, straight to heaven. “

Dilshan's reply was not audible, and Shehzad went on to say, “Then be ready for the fire.“

Pakistan badly lost the test series 2-0 and the one-day series 2-1. This is the same Sri Lanka for which Pakistan fought hard so that it could be granted Test status in the 1980s. Sri Lanka is economically not better off than Pakistan. It is a much smaller country. It was plagued by a long civil war and terrorism. Even recently members of the team were complaining about not being paid for long periods of time. This shows that financially its cricket board is worse off than even that of Pakistan. I have pointed this out just to highlight the fact that this country has not had an easy existence. Yet its team is now able to even out-think Pakistan and put Pakistan under psychological pressure and consistently beat Pakistan in a manner similar to western countries. So even though both countries have gone through some of the same problems, look where Pakistan has gone while Sri Lanka under similar conditions has shown great resilience.

I have been wondering how Pakistani cricketers could have fared so badly in recent times against Sri Lanka given their past dominance over them. I have no doubt that an all time best Pakistani eleven would outmatch any other all time best team in the sub-continent.

But just as the misguided Muslims want an easy path to heaven, no matter what they do, according to one cricketer; it is now becoming apparent that Pakistan's cricketers must have the same approach to the game of cricket as well: an easy path, without any hard work. This is proved by their results. So mystery solved. With this kind of mindset we should not be surprised about the decline of all sports in Pakistan.

2 Responses to “Sport and Salvation”

  1. September 6th, 2014 at 12:24 pm
    From Mohammed iqbal:

    So Ahmed Shehzad thinks he is headed straight for heaven, no matter what he does?

  2. In at least one place where there occurs a hadith report "He who testifies that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, Allah would prohibit the fire of Hell for him" (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0045), there is in the same chapter, and near it, a warning against misunderstanding it.

    Number 0047 states that the Holy Prophet said to Mu'adh ibn Jabal:

    "The right of Allah over His bondsmen is that they should worship Allah and should not associate anything with Him, and the right of His bondsmen over Allah, Glorious and Sublime, is that He does not punish him who associates not anything with Him."

    The report continues:

    "He (Mu'adh) added: I said to the Messenger of Allah: Should I then give the tidings to the people? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Do not tell them this good news, for they would trust in it alone."

    According to another version of this report (Number 0051):

    "…he (the Holy Prophet) observed: If anyone testifies that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His bondsman and His messenger, Allah immuned him from Hell. He (Mu'adh) said: Messenger of Allah, should I not then inform people of it, so that they may be of good cheer? He replied: Then they would trust in it alone. Mu'adh told about it at the time of his death, to avoid sinning."

    Number 0050 is a long report, according to which the Holy Prophet told Abu Huraira: "…when you meet anyone outside this garden who testifies that there is no god but Allah, being assured of it in his heart, gladden him by announcing that he shall go to Paradise."

    It says that the first person he met was Umar. When he gave Umar this news, Umar struck Abu Huraira so that he fell down, and he took him to the Holy Prophet, and asked the Holy Prophet if he had sent Abu Huraira to tell people that he who testitifes that there is no god but Allah would go to paradise? The Holy Prophet said: "Yes". Umar said:

    "Please do it not, for I am afraid that people will trust in it alone; let them go on doing (good) deeds."

    The Holy Prophet said: "Well, let them [i.e., go on doing good deeds]".

    It can be seen how greatly cautious the Holy Prophet and his leading companions, such as Hazrat Umar, were that no misunderstanding should arise to the effect that a person can enter paradise by just making a verbal declaration. The Quran itself says:

    "O you who believe, why do you say things which you do not do? It is most hateful in the sight of Allah that you say things which you do not do." (61:2, 3)

    To say La Ilaha ill-Allah with the tongue and then commit any sin amounts to saying something which we do not carry into practice, because violating any command of Allah means that we are taking something or someone else as god instead of Allah.