Competing with one another In Light of the Holy Qur’ān

By Qasim Choudhary

“Vie with one another in good works” (2:149)

We have all had those days where we find ourselves perhaps alone in the gym or on a football pitch. We improve our jump shot or free kicks by practicing alone in a calm setting. However, we never really understand how much we have improved until we are in a competitive setting. Playing alone does not allow us to experience our full potential and abilities. It is only by defeat that we get a measure of our tolerance for pain. When we vie with one another, our true potentials are unlocked and our limits are pushed allowing improvement, regardless of the field. This, in essence, is the spirit of the Qur’ānic injunction of “vie with one another in good works” (2:149). However, to become a true adherent of this commandment, individual improvement must go hand in hand with improvement of the team. In the sports world, professional teams that are prominently successful are those who work together as a unit. This injunction must not be understood merely as a vested interest or selfish glory; rather, true beauty lies in sparking a high level of ambition around us and motivating our teammates.

People all over the world idolize celebrities or sports figures because they are deemed as special, extraordinary and simply the best at what they do. We tend to mimic the way they shoot the ball or perform certain tricks; we even buy their apparel as a gesture of loyalty and admiration. We firmly believe that if we were to adopt their training regime or style of play, we would improve our own skills.

The same can be said about spirituality. By mimicking the spiritual star of our time, Hazrat Khalīfatul Masīhaa, we can reach the ultimate goal which is to establish a living relationship with God Almighty, by adopting his style and nature. We have the potential to improve ourselves immeasurably, because the Khalīfa himself is in communion with God Almighty and has been inspired by the Holy Prophet(sa) and Promised Messiah(as), who are the superstars of this universe.

As Ahmadī Muslims, we are fortunate to be under the captainship of Hazrat Khalīfatul Masīhaa who constantly provides us leadership, unity and endless inspiration.