Assalamu alaikum – peace be upon you all.
It’s been a whirlwind year for Imam Munieb. As the short excerpt at the bottom of the page will demonstrate, it began with a considerable amount of frustration at the condition of the boys in his madrasa, and in particular their evident love of football above anything else. (Imam Munieb would freely admit that, back then, he had no time for the game whatsoever).Now the Imam finds himself the humble founder of arguably the most successful extra-curricular venture ever to be undertaken at the mosque, the reluctant star of The Victory Boys… and even an occasional dabbler in the world of social networking!
So, why the change? And what exactly does the Imam know about football? Perhaps this interview with theKubekidsblog will shed some light…
Kube: What possessed you to start a football team?
Imam M: Yaa akhi, I hope your readers will not think it is a case of possession. Actually, I have a group of boys at the weekly madrasa – they are all about 10 to 14 years old. All they talk about is “football this”, “football that”. I began to think that maybe football was their life. But Islam should be their life, and I wanted them to see this. But you know, after a while, I started to think: maybe there is room for football in their life too. So I tried to marry the football to the deen, in a good, halal way.
K: Do you know much about football?
I: What would you like to know? It is a round, leather thing. Inside there is air. Also there are two goals and you have to kick the ball into these goals.
K: Can you explain the offside rule?
I: I have heard of this off-slide rule but no, I do not know how many points you will get for an off-slide.
K: How will you be able to manage a team knowing so little about the game?
I: I have made the good intention, and I pray for its success, Insha Allah. I hope that maybe I can find someone to help with the team and I have a young man in mind who I think will be perfect. Also, the boys are telling me we need a good coach, but I do not plan for any long journeys to games. We can play in the local park. Or catch a bus if we need to.
K: Has the introduction of football made a difference to any of the boys’ attentions in class?
I: I feel yes, Masha Allah, there is a big difference now. Before the boys didn’t want to learn about their deen. Now they see the team and the deen are things which bring them together.
K: Do you think the team are good enough to win anything?)
I: They think they are good enough! I think you will have to read the book to find out if they really are!