Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I wish my father could "see" me score!
Zaid lived alone with his father and the two of them had a very special relationship. Zaid mother died when he was just five in a motor car collision. His beloved father Yusuf, who meant the world to Zaid was seriously injured in same accident but through the Will of Allah his father survived.
Zaid was a very pious and intelligent boy. He was always seen accompanying his dad to the Masjid and reading the Qur'an He also loved sports but never did sports ever stand in the way of his salaah as he father always told him a saying of the Noble Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]"Of all the practices, salaah made at fixed hours is most loved by Allah."
 Everyday after Asar Salaah he would grab his fathers hand and take him to the local sports field where he continued to play until just before the Maghrib prayer. Thereafter both father and son would go to the Masjid to perform their prayers before returning home.
Zaid was always there for training. However for the main games he was always on the bench  and never selected by the coach to play. His father was always in the stands cheering and screaming Masha-Allah, Allahu akbar . His father never missed a game.
This young man was still the smallest of the class when he entered high school. He was also a student in Hifz[memorising the Qur'an] which consumed most of his precious time. His father continued to encourage him but also made it very clear that he did not have to play football if he didn't want to.

But the young man loved sports and decided to hang in there. He was determined to try his best at every practice, and perhaps he'd get to play when he became a senior. All through high school he never missed a practice nor a game, but remained a bench warmer[not participating in actual games]. His faithful father was always in the stands, always with words of encouragement for him.
Young Zaid completed his memorization of the Qur'an and at his Jalsa [graduation ceremony], his father was so overjoyed that tears flowed  from his eyes.  His father told him on the day he started his hifz  that our beloved Rasulullah[peace be upon him] said"Whoever reads the Qur'an and memorises it, while he regards what it makes lawful as lawful and its unlawful as forbidden, Allah Ta'ala will admit him into Jannah[paradise] and will accept his intercession on behalf of ten such persons of his family who were doomed to the fire of Jahannam[hell]" He earnestly wished from that day that he would become a Hafiz of the Quran and hoped through its blessings his mother would enter Jannah.

The young man completed school and then went to university. He decided to try out for the football team as a "reserve." Everyone was sure he could never make the grade, but he did. The coach admitted that he kept him in the team because he always puts his heart and soul into every practice, and at the same time, provided the other members with the motivation, spirit and hustle they badly needed. The news that he had survived the cut thrilled him so much that he rushed to the nearest phone and called his father. His father shared his excitement and was sent season tickets for all the university games.

This persistent young sportsman never missed practice during his years at university, but he never got to play in a single game. It was the end of his senior football season, and as he trotted onto the practice field a few days before the Cup Final Game, the coach met him with a note that was just delivered a few moments earlier. The young man read the note and he became deathly silent…tears began to flow from his eyes. Swallowing hard, he mumbled to the coach, "My father died this morning. Is it all right if I miss practice today?" I would have to attend his funeral later today. The coach put his arm gently around his shoulder and said, "Take the rest of the week off, son and there is also no need to come back to the Cup Final on Saturday.

Saturday arrived, and the game was not going well. In the final 25 minutes of the Cup Final, when his team 2-1 behind, the silent young man quietly slipped into the change room. There he quickly performed wudhu[ablution] and put on his football gear. He had a ¾ pants specially made for him at his fathers request. This was done as for Muslims it is compulsory for males to cover the area from the navel to below the knees.
 He then calmly read two rakaat salaah and made dua[prayed] with so much devotion to Allah and then ran onto the sidelines, the coach and his players were astounded to see their faithful teammate back so soon." Coach, please let me play. I've just got to play today," said the young Zaid. The coach pretended not to hear him. There was no way he wanted his worst player in this cup final game. But the young man persisted, and finally feeling sorry for the kid, the coach gave in as there were only 10 min left in the game and his team seems to be getting from bad to worst. "All right," he said."You can go in."

Briefly lifting his hands in dua he ran onto the field. Not before long, the coach, the players and everyone in the stands could not believe their eyes. This little unknown, who had never played before was doing everything right. The opposing team could not stop him. He ran, he passed, kicked and tackled like a star. His team began to gain momentum and courage. He made a beautiful opening and a pass which allowed the striker to score. The score was tied 2-2 with just 5 min to go. In the closing seconds of injury time in the game, the opponents were attacking when the ball was kicked wildly and it found itself to Zaid who was just past the half way mark. Zaid got the ball, dribbled past the first defender and out ran the second defender. All that remained between victory was Zaid, the goal keeper and 10 seconds of playing time. Saying Bismillahi Allahu Akbar( I begin in the name Allah-Allah is the Greatest) he kicked the ball hard and accurately into to the right upper corner of the goal post. Despite a desperate attempt the goal keeper was unable to save it.There was a thunderous scream from the spectators…
Zaid had scored and his team had won. The game was over!!! Zaid calmly made a sajda [prostration] to thank Allah.
His team mates rushed to grab him.The fans broke loose. His teammates hoisted him onto their shoulders. Such cheering you've never heard! Finally, after the stands had emptied and the team had showered and left the change room, the coach noticed that the young man was sitting quietly in the corner all alone. The coach came to him and said, "Kid, I can't believe it. You were fantastic! Tell me what got into you? How did you do it?"

He looked at the coach, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Well, you knew my dad died, but did you know that my dad was blind?" He lost his eyesight in a motor collision when I was just five years old and my mum passed away in the same accident. The young man swallowed hard and forced a smile, "Dad came to all my games, but today would have been the  first time he would "see" me play, and I wanted to show him I could do it!"With tears flowing his eyes the coach held the young Zaid close to him….
Zaid in a soft tone whispered, "How I only wish my father was here to "see" me score!"
Moral Lessons:
  1. Whoever puts their Trust in Allah, Allah will never disappoint them
  2. Allah's help Always comes so long as one has patience and perseveres.
  3. The love and dedication that parents have for their children is extra special!
  4. Practicing on Islam is not an obstacle to our material progress, in fact it aids our progress.
  5. Appreciate our parents while they are still with us
  6. Never give up hope, despite the odds
  7. If we work for Allah, Allah will works for us!