Half-time during a battle on the 17th of Ramadhan 2 Hijrah: 300-odd Muslims stubbornly occupy the wells of Badar. They could very well have chosen to stay home, but instead they were here. Ahead of them stood a Quraisy army, calling for nothing less than Muslim blood. Still they stood proudly, against a force outnumbering them 3 to 1.
Half-time during a match on the 24th of July 2012: 53000 odd fans (many of them Muslims) stubbornly occupy seats of the National Bukit Jalil Stadium. They could have chosen to fill their masjids, but instead they were here. Ahead of them stood 22 players, playing nothing more than a friendly. Still they stood proudly, the score 1-0 to Malaysia.
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Half-time is a time to reflect on how the match has panned out so far. And so it should be for Ramadhan.
Have we been playing at too low a tempo, putting off our pursuit of pahala for the 2nd half?
Have we overlooked teammates, to go for a failed solo attempt at pahala?
What of player morale? Have we approached this month with the necessary enthusiasm?
What of the attendance at our masjids?
Have we been sloppy in front of goal, missing open chances? For is not Ramadhan an open goal pahala-wise?
Half-time is a time of anticipation of the rest of the match to come. And so it should be for Ramadhan.
Will the momentum be lost, so that eventually we just go through the motions?
Will the fans stay in the masjid until the final whistle?
Will we be blinded by the commercialism of Eid to lose to a last minute goal?
Will we make the obvious substitution, that of takwa in the place of nafsu?
If we find it hard to answer these questions perhaps we have not truly understood the Quran, our ultimate book of tactics.
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Half-time at Bukit Jalil, Malaysia led 1-0. At full time they have lost 2-1.
Half-time at Badar, the Muslims were outnumbered 3 to 1. At full time they have routed the Quraisy, killing 70 and with only 14 syaheed.
Half-time at Badar showed how much we learnt. Half-time at Bukit Jalil showed how much we have forgotten.
Written by a big fan of football and a bigger fan of Islam.