Fans Pause Action for Friday Prayers during First World Cup in A Muslim Country


Fans Pause Action for Friday Prayers during First World Cup in A Muslim Country

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – As noon approached, muezzins across Qatar called Muslim football players, fans, and officials to the first Friday prayers of the first World Cup to take place in a Muslim country.

At the Ibrahim Al-Khalil Mosque in Doha's West Bay, with its towering minaret and carved wooden doors, they gathered for the weekly congregational prayer that many Muslims believe is obligatory.

Among the faithful were fans from Tunisia, Oman and India, a uniformed FIFA official, kids dressed in French football kits and hundreds of men and women from nearby hotels and tower blocks.

Unusually for football, Muslim fans say Qatar's World Cup has accommodated them like never before – with stadium prayer rooms, concessions selling halal food and no beer-swilling supporters to contend with in the stands, following a stadium alcohol ban.

"I came to an Islamic country to attend Friday prayer … This is what makes me happy in this competition," said Yousef Al Idbari, a visiting fan from Morocco.

Like all the other worshippers, Al Idbari, removed his shoes and filed into the mosque's main prayer hall.

Islam has featured throughout the first week of the tournament with a recitation of the Quran, Islam's holy book, at the opening ceremony and English translations of sayings and teachings of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) posted around Doha.

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