Why is it at the pinnacle of glory, Morocco’s Muslim Soccer Stars at the World Cup, prostrate to God and embrace their moms?
Because of gratitude.
Islam is a faith that centralizes gratitude to God, The Creator, and gratitude to one’s parents, especially the mother. Dalia Mogahed, Research Director at ISPU, captured it so beautifully: “When the world is screaming your praise but you fall to your hands and knees and face to whisper His praise. Without pomp. Without ostentatiousness. And without apology.”
There are several references to gratitude in the Quran, the Islamic sacred scriptures, one of which is: “If you are grateful, I (God) would certainly give you more”. This approach essentially captures the idea of a gratitude mindset and research indicating that gratitude is the key to unlocking greater health, happiness, better relationships and wisdom in ourselves and our communities*. Top experts on gratitude explain part of gratitude is appreciating that the fortunes we have are not confined to our own efforts*. Gratitude entails understanding we are recipients of blessings from a higher power, in this case, God, and other people.
And the people highlighted in Morocco’s ‘Miracle wins’ are moms. Once again, Islam emphasizes gratitude to one’s parents, in particular mothers. Mothers are so revered in the Muslim faith, to the extent that traditions by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) include “Heaven lies at the feet of mothers”, a metaphor indicating the great status that mothers hold. In another Prophetic tradition, it is shared the person most worthy of kindness in life is a person’s mother, emphasizing it three times, before also listing the father.
Quranic verses also highlight the importance of honouring and being grateful to one’s parents, and to mothers in particular for bearing the difficulties of pregnancy and childbirth. And we see those values in action when a soccer star leaves an entire stadium filled with tens of thousands of people, to go and embrace his mother, not only in front of the thousands there, but the millions on TV. Not only once after winning a game. Every. Single. Time.
These Muslim Soccer Stars have shown us that while they experience glory and fame at the world cup, it doesn't get to their heads because their faith grounds their hearts with gratitude and humility.
Raghad Hamdi is the Founder and Director of Ihsan Education. She has completed a B.A., B.Ed, and MSc. in Educational Leadership, is a PhD Candidate in Education and brings over 15 years of experience in education, training and consulting in Canada, the U.S and the Middle East.