Published: 2017-09-18 14:20
Last Updated: 2017-09-18 19:17
Saudi party poopers have struck again.
Your next birthday might not be a very happy one if you’re in Saudi, after Advisor to the Royal Court, cleric Abdullah Al Mutlaq, issued a fatwa banning celebrating birthdays in the Kingdom.
Surprised? You will be after reading Mutlaq’s reasoning behind the ban, which he announced on state television last week.
According to the cleric, birthday celebrations are “too costly.”
"We do not want to open up that door to ourselves because people do not have that kind of money to spend," he said, according to local media.
"We want to save up for our households and they now want to destroy themselves with these parties… which are unbeneficial things that Islam does not promote," the religious leader explained.
Some children’s birthday parties can cost up to $9,000, reported Alriyadh Newspaper.
But with Saudi being the world's second-leading producer of crude oil, surely Saudis must be able to afford celebrating turning a year older in style, many social media users argued.
Not exactly; while Saudi Arabia’s monarchy is famous for its long line of billionaire princes, at least one-quarter of young Saudi men are unemployed, 90% of men and women out of the labour market altogether and millions live in poverty.
A couple of years ago chess was the target of a lone fatwa that was generally dismissed and not taken seriously.