Things tend to get rather strange when money and religion play together.
In a spot of profitable news this fine Sunday morning, a mosque in Beheira's Damanhour City has announced a competition of sorts for youngsters aged 10 to 14. The contest stipulates that if a child prays continuously, without skipping a single prayer, for 40 straight days, they'll be rewarded with EGP 1,000 by the mosque, according to Masrawy.
Now, when topics like these spring about on our radar, the potential for disaster rises beyond anybody's rational threshold. All we know at this point is that a member of the mosque's administration said that a 'good Samaritan' donated EGP 10,000 for the competition. If more than 10 children passed the criteria, a raffle of sorts will be held to identify the winner of the first 'round' after the Friday prayer on the 15th of September. Isn't that gambling, kind of?
Unsurprisingly, the initiative was lauded with praise for its pure message and goals. "An excellent idea that I hope would be part of every mosque, so we could pitch into encouraging kids to pray together and raise a more pious generation," said Mona Ahmed, an enthusiastic Damanhour resident, to Masrawy.
Unsurprisingly, yet again, some folks showed a measure of disdain over the move, with a distraught Rania Hassan wondering, "How is it right that they're paying kids to go pray?" This seems to be a sentiment echoed by others, calling for something more symbolic than straight up cash. "It's a nice idea but you shouldn't make money the chief incentive. Perhaps a bicycle or something of that nature worth EGP 1,000 would be a better idea."
We'll leave that ethical dilemma to you, ladies and gentlemen.
Main image from AboutIslam.net