Religious and community elders have raised concerns about young people skipping prayers over Ramadan to watch World Cup soccer matches, the Peninsular Qatar has reported.
Clerics say Muslim men are skipping the late evening and nightly prayers as matches are held late in the evening and continue until 1am when it should be a time for Muslims to focus on prayers and worship during the holy month.
Mohamed Al Mahmoud, a prominent Muslim cleric, said World Cup matches were resulting in many Muslims sitting at home watching TV and not visiting mosques to join prayer congregations.
He warned Muslim youth against ignoring these prayers, the English daily reported.
He said given Ramadan was the month of worship and came once a year, Muslims must spend their time worshipping and reading the Holy Quran rather than watching football, TV serials and other entertainment programs.
Sheikh Ahmed Al Buainain, a renowned Islamic scholar and cleric, said in his last Friday sermon that Muslim youth should not watch World Cup matches live since they were played at the time of “Isha” and “Tharaweeh” prayers.
The World Cup will continue until the 18th of Ramadan. Ramadan began on June 29 in the GCC.
The last time World Cup coincided with Ramadan was 1982, the newspaper reported.