A wonderful sight can be seen amid Qatar’s busy schedule as host of the 2022 World Cup on Friday, November 26.
Fans from various countries were seen flocking to the mosque to perform the first Friday prayer since the big football event started in the Gulf country. Not only fans, players, and Muslim officials also reportedly stopped all their activities when the muezzin was heard starting Adhan (the call to prayer).
One of the main mosques fans go to carry out their obligations as Muslim men for weekly congregational prayers is the Ibrahim Al-Khalil Mosque, located in the West Bay of Doha.
The mosque, with its soaring minarets and carved wooden doors, was seen packed with fans, the majority of whom came from Tunisia, Oman, and India, as well as a FIFA official in uniform, and kids wearing French football kits, and hundreds of men and women from nearby hotels and tower blocks.
As the first Muslim country to host the World Cup, Qatar is said to have accommodated Muslim fans never like before by providing a prayer room stadium, concessions selling halal food, and a ban on drinking beer in the stadium.
Yousef Al Idbari, a guest fan from Morocco, said he was happy to be able to attend Friday prayers as the competition is being held in the Islamic country.
Meanwhile, Ridwan Goolam Hoosen, an avid football fan from South Africa, compared his experience while attending the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where he often missed goals or missed a player being sent off when he left the grounds to find a prayer space, which certainly different from this year’s World Cup, which he said is perfect for a Muslim like himself.
To host one of the biggest sporting events in the world, Qatar does not waste the opportunity to promote Islam and remove negative stigma and Islamophobia across the globe. Every step from the hotel to the stadium, event organizers ensured that the message of Islam was conveyed subtly. They even open the event with Quran recitations and English translations of the sayings and teachings of Prophet Muhammad PBUH posted on the streets of Doha.
The committee also guarantees an extraordinary experience, ensuring that visitors do not miss the beauty and majesty of the Adhan. For that, they brought muezzins with melodious voices and installed microphones in the stadium to broadcast the call to prayer.
A British journalist, Robert Carter, via his Twitter account @Bob-cart124, said that the FIFA Fan Fest in Qatar was stopped during prayer times, providing a unique opportunity for visitors to see the real Islam.