In a recent video, Ahmed Musa, Nigeria’s captain joins his teammates to celebrate the victory against South Africa. Although it ended with 1-1 and the Eagles had been “denied” a goal, they had qualified. In their usual fashion of playing the piano and singing, they gave offerings of praise.
Two things stand out: Ahmed Musa is a Muslim, and they have chosen him to lead praise and worship. In a country where Christianity and Islam seem to clash with claims of superiority, Musa has cancelled every form of debate with his heroic performance or so it seems.
In a world where social media has enabled people to dictate how celebrities live their lives, the Footballer of the Year’s action does not go unnoticed. Instagram users Musa Marsaid1348 and ibn_merlik see it as their obligation to remind him that he is “a Muslim” and he should not “take it personal. Just a fellow Muslim reminding his brother not to get carried away.”
Islam guarantees freedom of worship for an individual. This much is the sole focus of Surah al-Kafirun, which terminates with a verse, “To you be your religion, and to me my religion” (Q109:6).
A much-debated subject, some clerics argue that the concept of freedom to exercise the faith in Islam is usually misinterpreted.
Believers like the two above deliberately forget that the religion of peace recognises Jesus and Mohammed as prophets. They also do not recognise (pay strict observance) to the Holy Quran 39:41 states it is not for a man to decide how another should leave his life because “you are not a custodian over them.”
If we, at all, go by their assertion, then the words of God in 5:48 “And if Allah had pleased, He would have made you a single people (or one religious community)” is null and void.”
Perhaps, Musa is right when he says, “Keep it to yourself if you are not ok with that I am doing.”