Interview with Professional Footballer Adil Nabi

Adil Nabi is a young professional footballer who has made his name at home and internationally. He tells us about his journey and connection to his faith in this exclusive interview.

Salaams and thanks for talking to HOTD.

Do you remember the first time you played football – in the garden, in the park or even in the house? What’s your earliest memory of the fun that comes from kicking a ball?

Asalaamu alaikum all, yes I always played football with my brothers everywhere, any chance we had to have a kick about we would! I’d keep playing for hours and hours!

You joined West Bromwich Albion at the age of 8 years old. At what age was your talent for football spotted and encouraged?

Before I joined WBA FC, my dad knew I had the talent from a very young age, around 4 or 5 years old and when we went to summer schemes alot of people would say the same. This encouraged my dad to continue even more with football.

Football and sports as entertainment bring hugely passionate fans but there are always those who like to watch and not participate in the game. Everyone is different but from a health perspective, it’s so important to get active especially in times when our bodies are under attack from viruses and lockdowns mean people don’t get out as much. How has your exercise and sports regime changed your life?

Yes, any form of exercise is very important especially from a mental and physical perspective. Personally, physical activity is an important part of my life and I always try to implement the importance of exercise with family and friends.

In 2013, you experienced your first Premier League game. Even though you didn’t get a chance to play, how did the experience of being there and all that was at stake affect your motivation for the game?

Yes, Alhamdulillah that was a great achievement which gave my family and I the huge motivation to want more. I was involved many times in the Premier League squads and these experiences have helped me with my career thus far, Alhamdulillah.

How does your religion affect your approach to the game and other players?

Alhamdulillah, being Muslim in a sport where there are many brothers involved makes it easier to practice our beliefs with ease and understanding. All the clubs I’ve played at have been fantastic with understanding about prayer timings, dietary requirements, Ramadan etc.

Have you had to play a match in Ramadan or prepare for one? How difficult is that or do you find the discipline just continuing on the field?

Yes, many times. Normally the hardest part of football is pre-season and the majority of the time, this is when Ramadan is. It’s a beautiful feeling. You feel protected by Allah even though people will look on running in extreme temperatures, playing matches with no food or water for 16-17 hours of the day as difficult but it really shows the greatness of our religion. It’s all about discipline, in any aspect of life. May Allah make it easy for us all. Ameen.

You played with the Delhi Dynamos as part of the Indian Super League, what was that like? To be in such a diverse team with other great players and have the chance to play on such a large scale?

Yes, Alhamdulillah. Going to India and playing in the super league was a fantastic opportunity. To experience playing with football icons and playing with different players from all corners of the world was huge for my career and what I learnt from them was incredible. My time in India playing in front of massive crowds in huge stadiums was something I will never forget, Alhamdulilah.

Your sport and profession has taken you to Peterborough United, the Scottish Premier Club and now OFI Crete. What is your ultimate dream where football is concerned?

Yes, Alhamdulilah I’ve played in great leagues and teams. My ultimate goal is to play in the Europa League and the Champions League and Insha’Allah that will happen. Also another ambition is to play football in the Middle East, that would be a dream insha’Allah.

Hadith of the Day delivers a daily Hadith to inspire people across our platforms. How important do you feel it is for young people to remain connected to their roots and Deen especially in today’s hyperconnected world?

Hadith of the day do fantastic work masha’Allah! May Allah accept all your efforts, Ameen. Most importantly for the youth of today and how the world is all digital now, the emails and the daily reminders are fantastic for everyone to stay connected with our beautiful religion. We can’t thank you guys enough for this.

Finally, many have been watching you, will be reading about you in this interview and feel immense pride that you, as a Muslim brother have achieved so much at such a young age. Do you have a message to our audience that can uplift and inspire them?

Yes, I’d like to say please, whatever you want to achieve in life give it 1000%. Always work hard and stay consistent. MOST IMPORTANTLY never forget to always remember your religion, always have Imaan and stay true to your Deen. Jazak’Allah khair for all your support. May Allah make it easy for all of us. Ameen

Jazak’Allah khayr Adil, may Allah bless you with continued success and allow you to keep inspiring others. Ameen!

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