Saudi Arabia Implements Strict Rules During Ramadan, Limits Loudspeakers and Monitors Congregations
View of Masjidilharam in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on January 8, 2023. Photo/Hani Alshaer/Anadolu Agency
RIYADH – Saudi Arabia announced a set of strict regulations and restrictions during the holy month of Ramadan this year.
These regulations include several controversial ones such as reducing mosque loudspeakers, monitoring worshipers who wish to do i’tikaf during the last 10 days, limiting donations and prohibiting filming or broadcasting prayers in mosques.
His Excellency the Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dr. #Abdul Latif_Al_Sheikh A circular to all branches of the Ministry of the need to prepare mosques and mosques to serve the worshipers, as part of the Ministry’s preparations to receive the month of Ramadan. #Ramadan Blessed for this year 1444 AH. pic.twitter.com/9Q4x9CWWPE
– Ministry of Islamic Affairs ???????? (@Saudi_Moia) March 3, 2023
In a document released and distributed on Friday (3/3/2023) by the Minister of Islamic Affairs of Saudi Arabia Abdul Latif Al-Sheikh, the holy month of Ramadan is regulated by ten points, which must be observed by people in the Government.
Among the orders are, “Imams and muezzins must not be absent unless it is very urgent, the Tarawih (night) prayer is not extended, and the tahajud prayer must be completed on the last ten days of Ramadan, before the call to dawn prayer, with enough time, so as not to trouble the congregation. .”
According to a Middle East Monitor report, this rule also includes things like, “Not using cameras in mosques to photograph the imam and congregation during prayers, and not broadcasting prayers or broadcasting them in any media.”
The regulation also obligates the “responsibility of the imam to authorize i’tikaf (absence in the mosque for the last ten days) and know their data.”
The Ministry also prohibits mosques from collecting financial contributions for breaking the fast meal for people who are fasting, and for such food to be prepared and held in a designated area in the courtyard of the mosque rather than inside the mosque, and done under the responsibility of the imam and muezzin.