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April 5, 2005

Classic kr Post #1

Alright, so this is the last week of class before finals next week. Wednesday is going to be, inshallah, the last class that I’ll ever have to attend (well, theoretically, since I never attend class anyway). Finals are next week, so a du’a of some sorts would be nice… especially from all you guys who leave no eprops yet are entertained by my posts…  Anyway, I don’t have the motivation to think of something original, so I’m simply re-posting something that I had posted on the blurty back in the day.

Some of you guys who’ve been reading my ramblings for 2 years now have already read this… but there’s been a lot of new readers, especially in the past few months. I think with the recent sports frenzy (Bulls, Illini, Cubs’ Opening Day), this post has renewed relevance.

In the meantime, if I think of something later during the week, I’ll post it. This ought to suffice for a few days.

Oh, and my condolences to the Fighting Illini… they nearly pulled it off, so all you UNC lovers need to stop acting like UNC owned UIUC… if Luther Head’s 2 threes or Deron Williams’ three went in… it’d be a different ending. Anyway, at least we have the Bulls…

Originally posted on Friday, May 30, 2003.

this might be the problem…
so today i was going through some old notebooks and trying to sort them and i stumbled upon some notes from a class i had taken with shaykh amin back in the summer of 1999 wherein he made the statement, “the problem with Muslims is that we play soccer and not football.” this got me thinking…

(please note that the following is not intended to be a bash on soccer. i love the game and that was the first sport i started playing… the world cup is still the best sporting event in the world. with that said…)

when you look at Americans, with the exception of baseball, the sport that defines the American sports-identity (which in and of itself typifies the American zeitgeist) is football. when you look at the history of the game’s development, it was invented in the ivy league schools by people who would run this country. soccer was basically the inherited bastard child of various games in europe that the Muslims adopted.

football’s mores represent American life:
1. lots of rules (the nfl rule book is freakin huge)
2. clear defined positions (linemen, wide receivers, etc)
3. tasks for each player (blocking, carrying the ball, catching),
4. and most importantly, immediate concrete microgoals (first downs) while working for a large macrogoal (the end zone).

soccer kinda represents the current Muslim state of mind:
1. little to no rules; besides not using your hands of course. this is kinda like the Muslim state of mind, we dont seem to have many rules for ourselves, despite what our tradition teaches us. even if we know these rules its not like we give a damn for them anyway.
2 and 3. ok, this is pretty self explanatory cause soccer has SOME defined positions, but by and large, its 10 guys (goalies dont run around) running around the field for 90 minutes. this too is kinda like the Muslim situation. no one seems to know their positions they must play so that the team has a chance to win the game. everyone wants to be the striker and score goals and be the Ronaldo or Beckham; some people play midfield; even fewer play defense and we have no goalie to protect our goal at all. and no one seems to know their task either. in football, people know they have to block, catch, etc. in soccer, there’s like 4/5 guys doing each position. its kinda like the Muslim state of mind too: no one knows what to do and even when they find out what to do, they dont wanna do it, thinking the other people playing their positions will do it. its kinda like the homer simpson attitude of ‘cant someone else do it?’ (think the episode where he becomes the sanitation head honcho for Springfield).
4. this too is self explanatory. soccer is basically people running around for 90 minutes trying, often by sheer luck, to get the ball in the goal. this is unlike football that has microgoals that are the most important thing at the time (ie, getting the first down). these microgoals are all there to get to the endzone. this lack of microgoals in soccer is tantamount to Muslims who talk about getting the khilafah back yet have no immediate practical things that can be done to get to the end result. we have no sense of what we need to be doing to get to wherever we want our community to be 15-30 years from now.

furthermore, you cant use your hands in soccer! what’s up with that? we’re given hands to make use of them: the whole opposable thumb thing kinda makes us special you know. yet in soccer, you’re told not to use your hands. this is just like denying a bounty of God that He has given you, yet you choose not to use it. that’s kinda what we Muslims do: we’ve been given all sorts of bounties and favors, yet we either deny them or let them go to waste–both of these actions, whether we like to admit it or not, are done with a subconscious spirt of defiance.

also, in football, you talk about every play right after it’s over in the huddle. you figure out what went wrong, where the weakness is in the other team, and how to play better on the next snap to continue the effectiveness and redress the mistakes that might have been made on the previous play. in the huddle, even though one player talks, everyone gets a chance to add their two cents if its valuable. hmm, thats kinda like the concept of shura in islam, no? there’s also players that are constantly being subbed in and out, and these players have instructions from coaches that they carry with them when they come onto the field; again, all this to make the next play even better than the previous one. in soccer, there’s nothing of the sort. there’s halftime which is the only stop in play: there’s no team meetings of any sort during play to work on strategy and make adjustments. as for subs, once a player is subbed in/out, he can no longer return. therefore, the coach can only send in 3 players to make the team play better, whereas in football, there’s unlimited subs and fresh players equal better results.

in addition, after the macrogoal is reached in football (a touchdown), they’re rewarded with an extra point. thats kinda nice, its like how God works with his mercy. you do a good deed, and he will multiply it 10-700 times (or more, if He wishes). thats more incentive to achieve the goal again. in soccer, you rarely score, and when you do, there’s no reward to further catalyze scoring. indeed, in many games, the team that scores first will often stall the remainder of the time in hopes of running out the clock and winning. thats kinda like what the Muslims did. they reached a certain level of success, and having reached it, didnt want to continue learning, exploration, philosophizing, etc… even though, ironically, it was these same things that got them the success. they were content with their station and decided to ‘run out the clock’ in hopes that time would run out and they would get the victory. unfortunately, the other team scored and is now up.

oh, this is a facetious one, but ill add it anyway. in football, you have good equipment to protect you from blows and punishment that you are bound to take. also, the pants go below the knees (ok, forget they’re tight) so that’s pretty halal. in soccer, even though its supposed to be non-contact, people get injured like crazy–some have even died cause of the game. there’s little equipment involved, and those shorts are certainly not halal.

football has a quarterback/middle linebacker who calls the plays and gets everyone rallied around him. whatever he says goes, and he takes orders directly from the coach. though the team may add in their two cents, in the end, they listen to him and his call is final. his authority is never disputed. in soccer, there’s really no true leader (ok, maybe the middle midfielder) but he certainly is not looked upon as the final authority because he doesnt even have a chance to talk to his teammates during the halves. even the coach has no way of getting advice into this players. this is kinda the Muslim problem too. we have no leadership, and even whatever leadership we have, no one wants to stop running around and actually listen to them before adding their two cents in. everyone wants to be the captain and that’s destroying us.

gatorade was invented by florida football coaches to rehydrate their players. this amazing invention has uses even outside the field. i dont think any revolutionary invention came out of soccer (maybe the concept of the ‘buckyball’) that has import outside the game. this is just like the Muslims too: we dont contribute anything of long-lasting use to society anymore. we certainly did in the past, but not now.

football uniforms have little to no advertising on them (the swooshes dont count). soccer jerseys have advertisements of various companies on them. this too is kinda like the Muslims: selling out to make a quick buck.

finally, in football, even if you dont get to the endzone (the macrogoal) you’re still given a chance to get a consolation prize if you get close enough, ie, the field goal. this kinda makes you feel good that all that effort you put wont go to complete waste since you’ll get something rather than nothing. the field goal can also be the deciding factor in the score of a game, giving it even more importance. in soccer, no matter how beautiful of a setup or longball there is and someone comes up just a little short, there’s no consolation prize. its the same as if someone missed from 5 feet away or 50. it kinda makes all that effort to get a better shot at the macrogoal useless, since its all gone to waste if the last step isnt done right. this dampens the spirits and its hard to get motivation to go through all the steps necessary to come close to the goal again. the football metaphor is apt to the way that God works: even if you dont accomplish the end result, as long as you have put forth the effort and sincerity, He rewards you, which not only is better than nothing, but sometimes can mean the difference between the Fire and the Garden. this is also gives you motivation to repeat that effort to reach the macrogoal again in the future, knowing that even if you dont reach it, at least you will get some effort points.

anyway, if you’ve read this far, congrats. its late at night and i thought of all this a few hrs ago and wanted to get it down before i forgot it. this certainly isnt an exhaustive list of comparisons between the two sports and Muslims/Islam. the point of all this is to point out random thoughts of mine… and to say that we should be playing more football than soccer =).


From → Uncategorized

  1. Anonymous permalink

    its currently 4:58 a.m….and i have yet to go to sleep…this sucks…
    props for ur post…i havent read it…but i no u wudnt disappoint me…

  2. man… you owned soccer my friend.

  3. Anonymous permalink

    I remember reading this back in the day.
    Some good points. refer to your old blurty for the comments that I left back in the day

  4. Anonymous permalink

    some daus for you I shall drop

  5. interesting points

  6. You forget that Muslims developed the most noble sport of Turkish oil wrestling…Who else but the Turks to take dry greco-roman wrestling, dress the men in halal navel-to-knee leather shorts, and adorn them with sweet extra-virgin olive oil. Turkish oil wrestlers are then put in a pit, to let the best man win…any wuss can win in dry wrestling, but with oil, it takes true skill…such masculinity…Mashallah…

  7. This is a great line: “football uniforms have little to no advertising on them (the swooshes dont count). soccer jerseys have advertisements of various companies on them. this too is kinda like the Muslims: selling out to make a quick buck.”
    Good post.  How do you have time to come up with this stuff?

  8. soccer is still the most played sport around the world, in almost every single country where it can be played, its played.  even tho you kicked soccers nose, nice analogy.

  9. Anonymous permalink

    I’ve heard Hamza Yusuf say this in a speech at the ISNA convention.

  10. I really liked the analogies you used. This is a pretty nice work of art!  Thanks!

  11. Anonymous permalink

    KR, ur a total dork. Sheesh, I thought you’d move away from the total lack of logic that your thoughts are. Apparently, you call it a classic. Your post should have been titled “I can’t belive I wrote something so dumb and still got into Med School.”
    Can’t think of one thing that eminated from soccer? How about peace, hope, and understanding? Most countries organize soccer games in order to thaw hostile relations (US-Iran, Germany-England, Saudi Arabia-Iran, North Korea-South Korea, Japan-South Korea, Argentina-England…and so on…).
    (American) Football? Well it represents the closed minded American approach to everything. Football is played only in North America. The idea that a regional “men-grabbing-men” fest can be compared to the beautiful game is perposterous.
    Also, maybe if you ever played competitive soccer (not physical?!) you would understand that there is constant strategy involved and that everyone has a purpose. Only idiots run amock…at war or at soccer. You won’t have time to call a time out or “stop the clock” just because you want to. Time, and the rest of the world, is greater than any individual or team…soccer exemplifies that.
    May be you should just give up talking about sports. What’s next? A post about how Burnitz is better than Sosa? Sheesh.
    Oh by the way…no eProps for anyone, and I mean anyone, who disses Soccer.

  12. Anonymous permalink


  13. i’m gonna have to go with the Cubs guy on this one. i don’t if it’s because he’s a Cubs fan or just cause he has a damn good point.

  14. Anonymous permalink

    You are such an idiot. You obviously don’t know ANYTHING about futbol. The captain can be ANY position, and he helps adapt the strategy as the game goes by. Long ball, counter-strike, using the wingers to center in, 4-4-2, 5-3-2, or my faviorate 4-3-3. And even w/in the 4-3-3, you can diamond shape the defense and trapezoidal shape the midfield, etc. I DARE you to play one full 90-minute game. You’d fall over left and right in the first half, and then would be wheezing the whole second half. Soccer players are the most fit professional athletes in the world. AND FIFA has Olympic level drug testing, unlike baseball or football or basketball here in the U.S. Don’t knock it till you try it, fair-weather fan.

  15. ok, are all you guys idiots… didnt you read my disclaimer. god damn, all 3 of you law students can’t read disclaimers… that’s pretty ironic.if i ever get in legal trouble, i’ll know i shouldnt go to a moslem lawyer… instead i’ll get me a nice jewish lawyer, simply because they can probably’s the disclaimer again you buffoons:(please note that the following is not intended to be a bash on soccer. i love the game and that was the first sport i started playing… the world cup is still the best sporting event in the world. with that said…)and in case you missed it, here’s the disclaimer again:(please note that the following is not intended to be a bash on soccer. i love the game and that was the first sport i started playing… the world cup is still the best sporting event in the world. with that said…)and if you missed it again, i know that you lawyers have difficulty with complicated things such as reading, here it is for the third time:(please note that the following is not intended to be a bash on soccer. i love the game and that was the first sport i started playing… the world cup is still the best sporting event in the world. with that said…)your (meaning saudi, sadiq, and shariq) buffoonery knows no limits.but i love you guys anyway. please don’t sue me.

  16. haha, oh yeah one more thing shariq: for a guy who never plays football or any other athletic activity (at least with the moslems)… you talk too much.but i wish i had hair and guns like you. mashallah. Allah nazr say all the single ladies: now that shariq has a xanga, all he has to do is post a picture of him in a cutoff, and its over for the rest of us…. “alhamdulillah, all praise is due to Allah”

  17. Anonymous permalink

    LOL..your still an idiot for attacking soccer…a disclaimer is just a way to try to yahud your way out of being bashed!

  18. kamran, your disclaimer and the post that follows is like me saying to you, “I don’t want to insult you Kamran, but you’re a complete idiot.”

  19. Anonymous permalink

    Thank you qidas for stating the obvious.

  20. I wish everyone was as smart as you CubWrig. MashAllah, you’re such a friggin genius. Everyone, give it up for CubWrig cause he’s such a smart guy. Bravo! Bravo!

  21. Anonymous permalink

    KR = Owned
    Saudi = Stud
    Qidas = Stud that rips on KR = Super Stud
    Shariq = OMG Hawt
    Me = Loser
    KR = Owned Loser

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