A overeager friend of mine is hosting a page on FB- these are my exchanges with some hot headed on "100,000 prayers for Pakistan's Victory against India in Semi Final"
Any sport is secular in nature, and the game of cricket is no exception. To make it a basis for personalized attack on your opponents is wrong; to turn it into a religious war or an avenue for aggression is even worse. As the Cricket World Cup semis between India and Pakistan on 30th March inch closer, already the real “Final” for the two countries, tensions have begun to mount on both sides with prayers for divine intervention for a comprehensive victory.
It has to be the googlies, the off breaks, running between the wickets and the batting that would achieve victory – in most of these faculties, save the last, Pakistan has shown great excellence; it is superiority of skills that is going to make it happen, so don't 'belittle' Allah with these “100,000 prayers,” and then wobble.
Allah does not like cricket and neither did the ‘Prophet’ know (or like) it. (It is a game invented by the 'non-believers' so why should Allah get involved in such a frivolous exercises?). That notwithstanding, let’s treat it that way – as just a game and forget about the role of Gods in this. Keep the battle of ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ out of it. We need to simply treat and enjoy the match as a game between two very talented titan teams and move on. We have lost every encounter with India so far so that means Allah is unhappy with us?
Cricket, prayers and Allah-o-Akbar are not synonymous. Our prayers should be for our well being, our good, and good for others. And that is all. Certainly, Pakistan’s victory will delight us no bounds, and losing will sorely disappoint us, but Allah will not reward or punish us whether we win or lose. We have lost to India in every world cup encounter so does that mean our prayers are not good enough? We need to get this straight – losing does not mean we are being punished, nor are floods and natural disasters the wrath of God.
Why should you get Allah involved when no one else is getting Buddha, Hanuman and Jesus into the play? A professional would not do that; lack of education and emotional temperaments are part of the team's makeup. Cricket is half played in the mind; skills are subservient to a nanosecond decision. The difference between a great player and a good player is that a great player keeps his cool and sees the ball a nanosecond in advance than the good one; a hothead absolutely loses control. It is not only the skill set they need to work on, it is their mental makeup. On that count, their entire persona needs a lot of input. Sometimes they search for that solace in 'Allah,' not realizing how much this game displeases Allah; dead leather being chased by the devout is not exactly the definition of a great Muslim. So let's rejoice in the way they played to reach the semifinals, that was the way they have always played, no compromise and therefore no need of ritualistic denunciation.
I will diverge a little here to add that the nation collectively boasts its reliance on Allah, so why should the nation be upset withits team when they lost in the last world cup encounter? Allah most likely was not with them. Matches are treated as 'Jihads;' deafening calls of Allah-u-Akbar set up the stage for what is a very guiltless gentleman's game. Conversion of ODI's into a crusade between the faithful and the infidels is a collective response from the whole nation, so in all likelihood, the infidels had greater support from Providence on St. Patrick's Day. With total reliance on destiny and Allah, Pakistanis lost the crucial toss and, if they had any chance of moving up from Providence's hand, that was denied too. They were recipients of the worst divine impartiality due to the tie-up of Ireland-Zimbabwe match that completely blocked their chance to move up. At least India stayed awake with the hope that Bermudan Lilliputians may miraculously beat Bangladeshi minnows in a major upset and pave the way for India to inch upwards. But Allah was not so kind to the Inzi army back then. The tie ensured premature ejection; they were just shut out. Four years of wait died down within days.
Let’s just play well and may the better team win. Win or lose, after the World Cup frenzy has died, we will still stare into the face of poverty and the existing woes prevalent in our society. So both teams should concentrate on upholding the spirit of the game and perform to the best of their ability. Leave religion and overreliance on deities out of it! The last thing I want is to end up on the losing side with 180 million prayers wasted! It is unfair to treat games with orthodoxy and a war between two religious ideologies. It is medieval and archaic and certainly not befitting the spirit and nature of the secular “gentleman’s” sport.