The 2018 Football World Cup is fully in motion with some surprising results unraveling already, which is certainly adding to the thrill and excitement to the event.
HalalPlanet, a Muslim organisation in Hong Kong has decided to add more spice and value to the tournament as they decided to donate 100 meals for every goal scored by a Muslim player in the whole competition.
Whilst they have a target minimum number of meals they are donating irrespective of the number of goals scored, they began the tournament by pledging 500 meals for the 5-0 Loss of Saudi Arabia to Russia.
The meals would be used to feed poor children around the world, an initiative which has fittinglpy brought much praise.
Muslim Council of Hong Kong caught up with Shehzad Hassam, the chairperson of HalalPlanet.
1) What made you come up with this idea?
Our website is already a socially responsible website and we already feed a poor child for every review.
It was natural for us to support our fellow brothers at the World Cup and we thought we would do something interesting based on our principles of giving.
2) What is HalalPlanet?
The idea came about when I was tired of travelling around the world and struggling to understand exactly what was halal or the lack of a good quality user based feedback system.
I felt we really needed a Muslim version of TripAdvisor to give us Muslims a voice in the global market.
3) What do you hope to achieve with this?
We currently have many businesses that are created to take advantage of our giving nature.
Thus, we felt we wanted to show the Muslim world that we also can travel and have great experiences while not having to compromise our personal beliefs.
4) Who’s your favourite player?
We have many favourites.
We love what Salah has been doing and the way he has been a role model for Muslims.
We love how the world sees Ozil do a prayer at the start of every match.
We love players like Pogba who spend their valuable time off in holy places like Makkah.
Our African brothers like Kante and Mane have been inspirational for the young in Africa. We hope they continue this trend at the World Cup.
We hope to see one Muslim player with the World Cup trophy in their hands and we will call him our favourite especially if he scores lots of goals. We want to feed as many children as we can!
5) Do you think a Muslim player can be the tournament’s MVP?
The last World Cup had Ozil in inspirational form. I don’t see why we won’t see another great performance by a Muslim Superstar.
Perhaps it could be an unknown quantity. Saudi Arabia have been known to produce some great goals at the World Cup.
Our MVP will be whomever scores the most goals!
Budweiser will remove the beer bottle for all muslim players in the World Cup henceforth after Egypt keeper Mohamed El-Shenawy declined to accept MOTM because of his Islamic faith that prohibits alcohol. pic.twitter.com/ZjWWdFLMDs
— Collins Okinyo (@bedjosessien) June 18, 2018
6) How important it is in your opinion for Muslims to excel in every field?
It is very important that we continue to produce great role models in every field.
With the anti Muslim sentiment we have faced for the last 20 years, we can potentially see some light at the end of the tunnel.
I even recently myself was reminded by a non Muslim to go do my Salah (he got the timing wrong) but we thought this was a step in the right direction!
We Muslims are a representation of Islam and we should always look to portray ourselves in the best way so that we can to help others be guided towards Islam.