Ibrahim Mogra on the Olympics and Benefiting Others

What a proud day it is as we host the London 2012 Olympics. Olympians of diverse colours, cultures and religions will compete in the spirit of friendship. They have trained long and hard to win medals. But if name, fame and money become the goal then the temptation to resort to unfair tactics and cheating becomes great. Then the value of the medals is diminished. It takes tremendous self discipline to be an athlete who is true to their convictions, beliefs and principles. So how many take up sport not just to win and earn a living but for the greater good and to benefit others? Eric Liddell, a Scottish Christian, refused to run on a Sunday; Harold Abrahams, an English Jew, did run to overcome prejudice; Muhammad Ali, an African American Muslim, threw away his medal in disgust and protest against racism and the appalling treatment of black people in America. He also took a firm stand against the Vietnam War which cost him his boxing license. Freddie Kanoute, a French Muslim and Didier Drogba, a Christian, are both carrying out amazing charitable work in their native Mali and Ivory Coast respectively having made millions through playing football. Perhaps if we all made it a point to always think about why we do what we do and how many others benefit from it, we might be less selfish and think more about others and find real purpose in what we do. The Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “The best of people is the one who is most beneficial to the people.”

Almighty God, make us amongst those who are thoughtful of the needs of others and enable us to benefit all of humanity, amin


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