In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
A UK politician says that the England team are “role models” and needs to be encouraging youthful individuals to step ahead and get jabbed – footballers should get jabbed to “help protect yourself and those around you; appeals to these people, whether they are footballers, whoever it is that the vaccines are working; they are role models in society; people, especially young people, will look up to them and they should recognise that and the difference that can make in terms of encouraging others etc.
Response: Firstly, we don’t nurture our children to take anyone as role models besides those whom our Creator chose as the only perfect role models, and the perfect role models in every aspect of life – from the time of Aadam to the end of time – will be the Prophets and Messengers [peace be upon them]. Allaah [The Exalted] stated about Ibraaheem and others amongst the Prophets whom He chose as the perfect guides for humankind [peace be upon them]:
وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ ۚ كُلًّا هَدَيْنَا ۚ وَنُوحًا هَدَيْنَا مِن قَبْلُ ۖ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِ دَاوُودَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُوسُفَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَهَارُونَ ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ
وَزَكَرِيَّا وَيَحْيَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَإِلْيَاسَ ۖ كُلٌّ مِّنَ الصَّالِحِينَ
وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَالْيَسَعَ وَيُونُسَ وَلُوطًا ۚ وَكُلًّا فَضَّلْنَا عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ
وَمِنْ آبَائِهِمْ وَذُرِّيَّاتِهِمْ وَإِخْوَانِهِمْ ۖ وَاجْتَبَيْنَاهُمْ وَهَدَيْنَاهُمْ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
ذَٰلِكَ هُدَى اللَّهِ يَهْدِي بِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ ۚ وَلَوْ أَشْرَكُوا لَحَبِطَ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحُكْمَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ ۚ فَإِن يَكْفُرْ بِهَا هَٰؤُلَاءِ فَقَدْ وَكَّلْنَا بِهَا قَوْمًا لَّيْسُوا بِهَا بِكَافِرِينَ
أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ هَدَى اللَّهُ ۖ فَبِهُدَاهُمُ اقْتَدِهْ ۗ قُل لَّا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا ۖ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرَىٰ لِلْعَالَمِينَ
And We bestowed upon him Ishaque (Isaac) and Ya’qub (Jacob), each of them We guided, and before him, We guided Nuh (Noah), and among his progeny Dawud (David), Sulaiman (Solomon), Ayub (Job), Yusuf (Joseph), Musa (Moses), and Harun (Aaron). Thus do We reward the good-doers. And Zakariya (Zachariya), and Yahya (John) and ‘Iesa (Jesus) and Iliyas (Elias), each one of them was of the righteous. And Isma’il (Ishmael) and Al-Yas’a (Elisha), and Yunus (Jonah) and Lout (Lot), and each one of them We preferred above the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns) (of their times). And also some of their fathers and their progeny and their brethren, We chose them, and We guided them to a Straight Path. This is the Guidance of Allah with which He guides whomsoever He will of His slaves. But if they had joined in worship others with Allah, all that they used to do would have been of no benefit to them. They are those whom We gave the Book, Al-Hukm (understanding of the religious laws), and Prophethood. But if these disbelieve therein (the Book, Al-Hukm and Prophethood), then, indeed We have entrusted it to a people (such as the Companions of Prophet Muhammad) who are not disbelievers therein. They are those whom Allah had guided. So follow their guidance. Say: “No reward I ask of you for this (the Qur’an). It is only a reminder for the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns).” [Surah Al-An’aam. Verses 84-90]
Allaah [The Most High] said: [ وَمِمَّنۡ خَلَقۡنَآ أُمَّةٌ۬ يَہۡدُونَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ وَبِهِۦ يَعۡدِلُونَ – And of those whom We have created, there is a community who guides (others) with the truth, and establish justice therewith ([7:181)] – Meaning: And of all those I [Allaah] created, there is a virtuous community, [who strive to] perfect themselves and others. They are guided and guiding others to the truth. They know the truth and act upon it [themselves]. They make it known, call to it and [encourage others] to act on it. [وَبِهِۦ يَعۡدِلُونَ -And establishes justice therewith] between the people in their judgements- when they judge in affairs of wealth, blood [i.e. crime of murder, injury, capital punishment etc.], the rights of the people and other than that. These ones are the leaders of guidance and the lamps that [remove] darkness.
They are the ones whom Allaah bestowed with Eemaan and righteous action. They command and recommend one another to the truth [i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds which Allah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allah has forbidden], and recommend one another to patience [for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allaah’s Cause during preaching His religion of Islamic Monotheism etc]. They are the truthful ones; whose status comes after the status of Mesengership. They are of different levels amongst themselves-each of them in accordance with his state of [piety] and lofty status. Glorified and Exalted be Allaah who bestows His special Mercy to whosoever He wills and Allaah is the Owner of great bounty. [An Excerpt from Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam al-Mannaan’ by Imaam Sadi. Slightly paraphrased]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: The Messengers are the most judicious amongst the creation without exception, and after them their followers are the most judicious group. The people of the scriptures and the great legislated laws are the most judicious amongst the followers of the Messengers and the Muslims are the most judicious amongst them [i.e. amongst all those who received divine scriptures and great legislated laws]. The companions of Muhammad [peace and blessings be upon him] are the most judicious amongst the Muslims and then those who followed them exactly in faith. The people who adhere steadfastly to the authentic tradition of the Prophet and the authentic narrations transmitted from him are the most judicious amongst the Muslim nation without exception after companions and those who adhered to their path. The clear evidence showing that the Messengers are the most judicious amongst the entire creation is that the beneficial knowledge they have brought- the righteous actions and the beneficial affairs related to true wellbeing in this worldly life and the afterlife- has not emerged from others or something even close it. There is nothing- from any perspective- that emerged from other judicious people that can be compared to what the Messengers brought with regards to beneficial knowledge, righteous action and the beneficial affairs of true wellbeing in this worldly life and the afterlife. Whoever ponders upon their personal life stories – in specific and in general, their patience and perseverance, their abstinence from those unnecessary lawful pleasures of the worldly life, their fervent desire for Allaah’s pleasure and the reward Allaah has kept in the afterlife, their purified manners, the fact that they are the most truthful amongst the creation, (possessors) of the most righteous hearts and the most purified souls, trustees of the greatest trust (i.e. revelation and Messenger ship), the noblest of those whom a person can accompany, the purest in their innermost conscience, the purest with regards to their private affairs- will not doubt the fact that they are the most judicious amongst Allaah’s creation without exception. There is no doubt that whoever is closer to them [i.e. follows them properly], then his (or her) share of judiciousness will be more than (that of others). [An Excerpt from As-Sawaa’iq Al-Mursalah 4/1514. slightly paraphrased]
Imaam As-Sadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Indeed, it is impossible to rectify the souls and acquire virtue solely through the worldly sciences. Experience and clearly witnessed circumstances are the greatest proofs regarding this affair, because despite its advancement and vastness it has been unable to nurture and rectify the souls. What the Religion of Islaam propagates is that which is entrusted with this rectification – it is what will guide the thoughts towards the truthful and authentic sources of knowledge, and guide the actions of the people towards good and prevent them from evil. Islam is The Rectifier of the Creeds and Manners- the thing that cultivates the thoughts [upon righteousness], urges towards virtuousness and prevents from depravity. The essence of that which the religion calls to regarding belief in the Unseen, which includes belief in Allaah and that which He possesses of Names, Attributes and Actions of perfection; belief in Angels, belief in recompense for one’s good and bad deeds in this life and the next, which cannot be known except through the Messengers, is what acquaints a person with the fact that rectification – in reality – is not possible through other than sound belief and the religion of Islaam. Therefore, even if the worldly sciences rectify [some] affairs based upon that which people know in detail, it will still not be equal [in perfection, excellence etc] to the knowledge of the Messengers [in the least]. It will neither reach that which is reached through the knowledge of the Messengers nor can it influence the souls in the manner in which the knowledge of the Messengers has done; for indeed the souls do not voluntarily submit except through belief in Allaah, belief in His Angels, belief in His Books, belief in His Messengers and belief in the hereafter. And without this, voluntary submission is impossible, as is well known regarding human nature. [Al-Adillatul Qawaati Wal Baraaheen Fee Ibtaalil Usoolil Mulhideen. 40-45]
Sufyaan Ibn Uyaynah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] used to say, “Indeed, the Messenger [i.e. Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)] is the greatest criterion [i.e. amongst mankind and Jinn] and all affairs are presented to him [i.e. for judgement and judged] based on his manners, path and guidance, so whatever is in agreement with this is truth, and whatever is in opposition is falsehood. [Al-Jaami Li-Akhlaaq Ar-Raawi Wa Aadaab As-Saami. page 8]
Secondly, with regards to medication or vaccines, then indeed no scientist is blindly followed let alone a footballer. Read here: Vilifying Others When They Exercise Their Right to Refrain From Accepting Offer For Vaccination In The West! [Moderation Required From Some British and American Citizens]: https://salaficentre.com/2021/09/04/vilifying-others-when-they-exercise-their-right-to-refrain-from-accepting-offer-for-vaccination-in-the-west-moderation-required-from-some-british-and-american-citizens/
Thirdly, we regards to football, Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “There is no harm in playing football if the following conditions are fulfilled: (a): Clothing worn should cover what is haraam [i.e. awrah] for another person to see. (b): Should not lead to neglecting an obligation. (c): No foul language. (c): Should not be a habit, such as the one who plays every afternoon. As for playing sometimes, there is no harm in doing so for recreation. And there is no doubt that football invigorates the body and strengthens it. [An Excerpt from Sharh Hilyati Taalibil Ilm’ pages 46-47]
Finally, with regards to the reality of football in our era, read article transmitted by Shaikh Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preseve him] from Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] titled: What is apparent from the state of football these days is that it is impermissible and objectionable―it is not allowed to get involved with it at all because it distracts people from the remembrance of Allah: https://www.abukhadeejah.com/state-of-football-these-days-impermissible-objectionableit-is-not-allowed-to-get-involved-with-it-at-all-because-it-distracts-people-from-allah-shaikh-ibn-baz/
We ask Allaah to include us amongst those who adhere to the path of the seal of the Prophets until we leave this world. We ask Allaah saying:
اللَّهُمَّ بِعِلْمِكَ الْغَيْبَ وَقُدْرَتِكَ عَلَى الْخَلْقِ أَحْيِنِي مَا عَلِمْتَ الْحَيَاةَ خَيْراً لِي وَتَوَفَّنِي إِذَا عَلِمْتَ الْوَفَاةَ خَيْراً لِي، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ خَشْيَتَكَ فِي الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ كَلِمَةَ الْحَقِّ فِي الرِّضَا وَالْغَضَبِ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ الْقَصْدَ فِي الْغِنَى وَالْفَقْرِ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ نَعِيماً لَا يَنْفَذُ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ قُرَّةَ عَيْنٍ لَا تَنْقَطِعُ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ الرِّضِا بَعْدَ الْقَضَاءِ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ بَرْدَ الْعَيْشِ بَعْدَ الْمَوْتِ، وَأَسْأَلُكَ لَذَّةَ النَّظَرِ إِلَى وَجْهِكَ وَالشَّوْقَ إِلَى لِقَائِكَ فِي غَيْرِ ضَرَّاءَ مُضِرَّةٍ وَلَا فِتْنَةٍ مُضِلَّةٍ، اللَّهُمَّ زَيِّنَّا بِزِينَةِ الْإِيمَانِ
وَاجْعَلْنَا هُدَاةً مُهْتَدِينَ
O Allah! By Your Knowledge of the unseen and by Your Power over creation, let me live if life is good for me, and let me die if death is good for me; O Allah! I ask You to grant me (the blessing of having) fear of You in private and public; And I ask you (to make me utter) a statement of truth in times of contentment and anger; And I ask You for moderation when in a state of wealth and poverty; And I ask you for blessings that never ceases; And I ask You for the coolness of my eye that never ends; And I ask You (to make me pleased) after (Your) decree; Aand I ask You for a life of (ease, comfort, tranquility etc) after death; I ask You for the delight of looking at Your Face (i.e. in the Hereafter) and yearning to meet You without any harm and misleading trials (coming upon me); O Allah! Adorn us with the adornment of Eemaan, and make us (from those who are) guided and guiding (others). https://salaficentre.com/2021/01/01/o-allaah-let-me-live-if-life-is-good-for-me-and-let-me-die-if-death-is-good-for-me/