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7 Lessons from the Qatar World Cup —Islamic Message Muslims Can Learn From

Despite Western media bias against the World Cup 2022 held in Qatar, the Qatar 2022 World Cup is praised as the “best World Cup ever” by FIFA president by Gianni Infantino. Other than being the most unproblematic World Cup, with no fans getting arrested, FIFA saw an increase of approximately a USD1 billion in revenue, compared to the last World Cup in Russia 2018.

Here are a few potential lessons that Muslims might take away from the Qatar World Cup:

1 – Unity and teamwork

The importance of unity and teamwork: The Qatar World Cup brought together teams and fans from around the world, showcasing the power of unity and teamwork. Muslims can learn from this example and strive to work together and support one another in their own communities.

What’s more impressive is that the Moroccan team’s win brought together unity in the Arab world, the African nations and the Muslim ummah, where we all rooted for their team’s success.

2 – Cultural exchange

The value of cultural exchange: The Qatar World Cup provided an opportunity for people from different cultures to come together and learn from one another. Muslims can take this lesson to heart and seek out opportunities for cultural exchange and understanding in their own lives.

3 – Sports bring people together

The role of sports in bringing people together: The Qatar World Cup demonstrated the power of sports to bring people together and create a sense of community. Muslims can use this lesson to encourage participation in sports and other activities that bring people together in a positive way.

4 – Show hospitality

The importance of hosting and hospitality: Qatar is known for its hospitality, and the World Cup provided an opportunity for the country to showcase its culture and traditions to the world. Muslims can take this lesson to heart and strive to be welcoming and hospitable in their own communities.

5 – Do da’wah

Take the opportunity to do da’wah by using a modern platform, such as a world sports event (the World Cup). Da’wah is spreading the message of Islam to non-Muslims:

  • Outreach to non-Muslim fans: The World Cup provides an opportunity for Muslims to interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Muslims could use this opportunity to engage in respectful dialogue about Islam and share information about their faith with non-Muslim fans.
  • Dissemination of Islamic literature and resources: Muslims could use the World Cup as an opportunity to distribute literature and resources about Islam to non-Muslim fans. This could include brochures, books, or other materials that provide information about Islamic beliefs and practices.

6 – The importance of prayers

Solah or salaah, the Islamic prayers of 5 times a day, can be seen everywhere in Qatar. The Qatari government provided Islamic prayer rooms at the stadium, Muslim fans were also seen praying in public open spaces near the stadiums, and the adhaan, the call to prayer, can be heard all around the city of Doha.

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Not only that, when the call of prayer is made, all transaction activities, such as the ability to buy an item, is halted for 15 minutes to allow for Muslims to go to pray.

What’s more rewarding is seeing Muslim football players made sujood, the prostration of putting the forehead to the ground, when they were victorious, or when they defeated. Win or lose, it all belongs to Allah s.w.t.

7 – Hold on to the Deen

While some Muslims want non-Muslims to accept us Muslims by bending Islamic rules, Qatar has instead held on to their beliefs and stood their grounds. They have banned the sale of alcohol in stadiums and banned rainbow bands and shirts.

They have not prohibited the sale or drink of alcohol to non-Muslims, just that they are in restricted areas, such as in hotel bars, but not allowed to be sold or consumed in stadiums. This has been touted by Western media in a negative light, despite the alcohol ban in stadiums was also applied at the Russia 2018 World Cup.

The opening ceremony of the World Cup began with the verses of the Quran, that was different from the usual dancing scenes of most world sports events. This time, the opening scene, was led by Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman, and Qatari influencer, Ghanim al-Muftah, who recited verse 13 of Surat Al -Hujurat:

O humanity! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you may ˹get to˺ know one another. Surely the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous among you. Allah is truly All-Knowing, All-Aware..”

— Quran, Surat Al -Hujurat 49, verse 13

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