Captain of the Nigerian national football team, Ahmed Musa has been named the 2020 Nigerian Muslim Celebrity of the Year.
The Super Eagles Captain was honoured with the prestigious award by Muslim News, Nigeria’s most authoritative Islamic newspaper.
Making the announcement on Tuesday, the newspaper’s publisher, Mr. Rasheed Abubakar said the former Al-Nassr of Saudi Arabia player is the recipient chosen by the #MNAwards2020 Committee for the 2020 Nigerian Muslim Celebrity of the Year.
The MNAwards celebrates Muslim achievers who have excelled and made the Muslim community proud in Nigeria and globally.
Now, into its third year, the 2020 edition of the Awards features additional categories honouring Muslim professionals in media, health, law, finance and entertainment industries.
According to Mr. Abubakar, “There are so many Muslim celebrities in Nigeria. They are in the sports, music and movie industries. Having gone through the profiles and achievements of the shortlisted celebrities, Ahmed Musa met the criteria.”
Highlighting the criteria employed among others, Mr. Abubakar said, “His love for Allah and passion for Islam, which he always showcases to the world while on the pitch, doing what he knows how to do best. He is among the few Muslim footballers in the world who celebrate their goals by performing sujood al-shukr, the Islamic act of prostration of gratitude.
“His philanthropic works to humanity irrespective of their religious or ethnic persuasions, are too many to mention. Being kind and generous to the poor is a great service enjoined by Allah.
“We are aware that he built a multi-million naira sports and fitness centre in Kano and a similar one in Kaduna, to train more youths in various sporting activities. In his efforts to give back to the society, this Muslim Ambassador also unveiled plans to build a multi-million naira school in Jos. We’re proud of these feats,” he added.
Mr. Abubakar who initiated the award in 2018 to celebrate Muslim achievers in different professions also acknowledged Ahmed Musa’s quest for promoting love and peaceful coexistence among members of other religions, tribes.
“However, as human beings, no one is infallible. Hence, this award should serve as a motivation for him. We hope he will be more conscious of his Deen (religion) and spur him to do more for Islam, Muslims and humanity at large,” he added.
The 28-old forward is arguably one of the most successful Nigerian footballers. He became the first Nigerian to score more than once in a FIFA World Cup match, after scoring twice against Argentina in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.