Connecting Sports & Islam:

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Author’s note:

Sports are some f the best forms of entertainment: they teach us how to strategize, organize, execute, implement discipline, teamwork, respect, humility, selflessness, goodwill, confidence, ambition, and all other types of positive-qualities necessary to properly function in this Mundane-Life. And, connecting Sports with Existence, there are so many innumerable parallels, which I plan to discuss with great-detail.

The best way to link Sports to Existence:

Imagine, life being like an actual sport, like Football, or Basketball, for instance, two of the most popular sports around, for obvious reasons. Now, link that to our lives. I know, it’s not necessarily something that people think about doing, but, check this gem out: Allah specifically says, in His noble book that this Mundane-Life is merely a game.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.29, V.64)

But, for us playing the game of Life, we must decide whether we’re gonna play to win or play to loose. And, we also have to decide which playbook that we’ll use to get us through the game. At this point I’d like to delve deeper into the main point of this topic.

Basically, our existence is sectioned-off into three parts, just like a professional-sport: you have the Pre-Season, Regular-Season, and the Post-Season. I plan to expound upon all of these. Each of our aspects of existence reflects, directly, each phase of a sports-cycle.

Pre-Season/Pre-Puberty-

Anything & everything that occurs during this time, really isn’t counted, tallied, or mentioned on anyone’s record, regardless to how great or small an action is, or whether it’s positive or negative. During this time, it’s really a duration of grooming, to filter-out any negative elements to a person’s game, so that it doesn’t affect ones’ Regular-Season. It is at this time that you undergo significant practice, and acquire skills to take you to the next level.

Regular-Season/Puberty to Death-

Now, here’s when it all counts, this is the time to be serious, because everything, good, bad, or whatever, falls under your personal-stats. You have to play at the pinnacle of your abilities. There’s no room for error & there no excuses. No one can say,  “Well, it was because of this, that, and the 3rd…nah, ain’t nobody tryin’ to hear dat & ain’t nobody got time for dat…you’ve got to produce, or else. Every single thing that we do in the Pre-Season will have a direct affect on our ranking in the Post-Season. And, once the Regular-Season is finished, we can’t go back to improve or correct any errors, which were made, it’ll be too late for all of that. So, we gotta get things right, right now, while, our Regular-Season is still in play.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.23, V.99 & 100)

The Post-Season/the Hereafter-

Known as Barzakh (mentioned directly in the Qur’an, as basically the realm of existence between ad-Dunya/the Mundane-Life & al-Akhirah/the Hereafter), the Post-Season of our existence will determine whether or not we make it to the championship game & whether we fall into the “winner takes all” category. Like any major sports (Footbal & Basketball most specifically), tere are 3-rounds of the playoffs. But, referring to the Hereafter, the 3-rounds are all played in the graves, where the Angels of Questioning will test you, as to what your Mundane religious-stauts was. They will aske you 3 specific questions: Who is your Lord?…What is your path/religion?…Who is your Prophet?

Now, depending upon how well you answer these 3-questions, respectively, this will determine whether or not you will successfully advance to the next round, if at all. And, ironically, it is your heart, your actions that will answer these questions for you, not necessarily your verbal-speech.(Abu-Dawud) With this being said, let me break down how the Post-Season works: Question #1 = 1st-Round, Question #2 = 2nd-Round, and Question # = 3rd-Round. Meaning, you will not/cannot advnce to the next-round, unless you answer each question correctly, in their exact orders.

Depending upon your answers to these questions, you’ll either advance, or be eliminated. But, unlike sports, within the Mundane, there’s no next-season; no one can ever say, “We’ll get em, next-year”…nah…that’s not happenin’, cause once your Mundane-Life, your Regular-Season of earthly-living is finished, there’s no turning back…We only get one season of Life, and we’ve only got one opportunity to be on the right team. And, Allah describes the qualities of the two most important teams to know about: Hizb-ush-Shaytan/the Team of the Devil, and Hizbullah/the Team of Allah. He describes them so very well, with such incredible clarity.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.58, V.18-22) We dare not chose the wrong team. But, at the same time, our Free-Will is just like being a Free-Agent, we get to freely choose which team we wanna be on, without interference.

Then, we get to the final game, the championship game…just imagine that the NBA Finals champ game/NFL Super Bowl & the All-Star Game/NFL Pro Bowl were all the exact same event…Well, that kinda how the Day of Standing is gonna play out: Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has informed us of 7-types of persons, whom will be given the immense honor of being covered with the Shade of the Throne of Allah, from the the Sun, on the day where will be no shade from, it & that it will be a mile (or in other narrations, a foot above our heads) away, causing people to sweat, to the extent of sweating up to one’s ankles, or waists, or necks, or even drowning in one’s own sweat.(Bulugh-ul-Maram)

These 7-people are the all-stars & pro bowlers of Judgement-Day: they will be the best & brightest of the day, with Allah as their protector and ally, and they will have a most easy time, on this day, unlike some, or most. These are the persons whom we all must/should aspire to be, at all-times. So, all in all, knowing sporting-dynamics & relating them to Islam is very-important, so that we can better use a universal modality, which is universally beneficial, and be able to apply it to our spiritual-lives, in the hopes that it can help us achieve greater insight into the realities of the Mundane-Life, Life-after-Death, and what the Hereafter actually has in store for each/all of us.

Gareth Bryant/2013

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