Message from the President – Executive
December 12, 2022 –
Assalamu alikum warahamatullah wabarakatu,
In this month’s message, let’s talk soccer, or football, whichever your preference.
Who would have thought that the FIFA World Cup hosted by Qatar would be full of lessons and reflections for us as a Muslim community?
Confidence & pride in our values as Muslims
While Qatar is certainly not free of fault or criticism, their showcasing of Islamic values, Quranic verses, and Muslim culture is important to reflect upon. In a world where Muslims can seem to live in the shadows of other dominant cultures, we must remain proud of our identity and values while remaining respectful of others, and keen on learning about other cultures and backgrounds. We are reminded of this in the Quran, and of the fact that righteousness (taqwa) is what ultimately distinguishes people from one another in the sight of Allah:
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَـٰكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍۢ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَـٰكُمْ شُعُوبًۭا وَقَبَآئِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوٓا۟ ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ أَتْقَىٰكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌۭ
“O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognize one another. Verily, the most honourable among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is the most righteous among you. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware.” (49:13)
The world today can indeed learn much from our values as Muslims: our deep reverence for God, our respect of all people, our hospitality, our dignifying of women, our belief in family values, our avoidance of intoxicants and obscenities, just to name a few.
One particular moment that made me proud was seeing the Moroccan players celebrating their win with their mothers, and demonstrating love, affection and reverence towards them. In our society where parents are often ignored or underappreciated, it is heartwarming to see elite players embody so beautifully our Islamic value of bir-alwaledayn.
Standing up for Palestinian human rights
A constant feature of this World Cup was the solidarity teams and fans showed for Palestinian human rights. The Palestinian flag was very visible in the World Cup and fans from all over the world passionately voiced their support of Palestinians living under occupation. This was an important reminder that the injustices committed against Palestinians will not be ignored or accepted and that the fight for justice will continue.
The unity of our ummah
Morocco’s wins during the world cup provided a reminder of the unity of the hearts of all Muslims. While this show of unity is only symbolic, it does reflect an ummah that remains alive and connected. Muslims from every corner of the world who had no idea who the Moroccan team was celebrated together as a Muslim team showed remarkable excellence on the World stage.
What we take away from all of the above is the importance of us as individuals and as a community to continue striving to share our values with the world, demonstrate respect and goodwill towards others, defend the rights of the oppressed, aim for excellence, and strengthen our collective unity. None of this comes easily or without effort, and each of us has a role to play to make these objectives a reality for our community here at home.