Published: 2018-05-31 14:19
Last Updated: 2018-05-31 15:32
Millions gasped in shock when Egyptian footballer Mohamed Salah injured his shoulder during a critical match against Real Madrid on Saturday.
However, the 2018 Champions League final was the least of this Kuwaiti preacher’s worries, who was more concerned with Salah’s decision to break his fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
Cleric Mubarak al-Bathali tweeted on Sunday that Salah’s injury was a “punishment from God for breaking his Ramadan fast early.”
اللاعب محمد صلاح قرر اللعب مفطرا لأجل ليفربول كما صرح بذلك فعاقبه الله ..— مبارك البذالي (@mubaark) May 27, 2018
لا يظن ظان وخاصة المسلم ان الحياة تدار بالعقل والجهد بل الحياة بيد الله يأتيها من يشاء سواء اجتهد او لم يجتهد ..
هداك الله يا محمد صلاح ولعل الأمر فيها خيرا لك في كل نواحي الحياة..
"The footballer Mohamed Salah decided to play for Liverpool without fasting, God punished him. No reasonable man, especially not a Muslim, believes life is managed by reason and effort. Life is in the hands of God. May God guide you, Mohamed Salah, and perhaps the injury is good for you."
In al-Bathali’s mind, a football game is not a “legitimate reason” to break one’s fast, something that Muslims are only allowed to do if they’re ill or travelling.
مسألة إفطار محمد صلاح انه كان صائما ثم افطر لأجل لعب الكرة وليس لأجل السفر ..— مبارك البذالي (@mubaark) May 28, 2018
فالأمر هي نية الإفطار ..
"The fact that Mo Salah broke his fast for the sake of playing football and not for travel purposes. Thus, he broke his fast intentionally."
Several religious scholars disagree with al-Bathali, noting that footballers are allowed not to fast if they felt their health would be at risk, adding that they can make up for it by fasting another day after Ramadan.
Thousands of social media users were also vehemently against the cleric’s statement.
One person responded to al-Bathali’s comments with:
“Who do you think you are? Stop making rubbish statements. You cannot talk on behalf of God. He knows what He is doing.”
Another person noted that this was simply al-Bathali’s opinion.
“That’s your own opinion “Kuwaiti preacher” God is not wicked, Mo Salah can repay his fasting after Ramadan.”
This user urged the cleric to do more to attract people to Islam instead.
“Our religion is far nobler than you and other people attempt to depict. You should work on your messages so that people become more religious and are not shocked. God has allowed Muslims not to fast when they are traveling or when they believe there are hazards to their health. This is such a case.”
Another user challenged al-Bathali:
"OK, sheikh ... Muslim footballer Karim Benzema also broke his fast ... so how did the game work in his favor?"
Salah is one of the most celebrated football players in Egypt’s history. He has led his country to the World Cup - which takes place in Russia this summer - for the first time in 28 years.
The 25-year-old player will be flying out from Britain to Spain “to complete treatment for the injury under Liverpool’s supervision,” according to Egyptian Sports Minister Khaled Abdul Aziz.