The Saudi authorities, according to an official decision, allowed the continuation of the opening of shops and the practice of commercial and economic activities throughout working hours, including during prayer times. What sparked a state of controversy in the Kingdom.
The Federation of Saudi Chambers said that in order to avoid the manifestations of crowding and gathering, waiting for a long time and working with preventive measures against the Corona virus, and to preserve the health of shoppers, we call upon the owners of shops and commercial activities to continue opening shops during prayer times.
Opening shops during prayer time causes a sensation
The Federation of Saudi Chambers, which is concerned with commercial activities in the country, added that its decision came to improve the shopping experience and organize work in a way that does not conflict with the performance of workers, shoppers and customers for prayers.
The decision sparked controversy on social media; Where the hashtag #Opening_Shop_Prayer_Time was issued on Twitter, amid divergence of opinions between supporters and opponents of the idea.
Saudi singers saw that the decision to open shops at the time of prayer does not respect Islamic teachings regarding trade in times of worship, while others considered it correct.
Read also: A Saudi woman exposes what is happening in public places while it is forbidden to transmit prayers through loudspeakers (witness)
The Saudi tweeter Al-Zahrani said in a tweet, commenting on the decision: “Your trade, your property and your blessing are in the hands of whomever you will close your shop to fulfill your duty towards; If you leave this duty, do not wait for a blessing with your trade, so live on the farmer’s call from his hand everything, and if the order of prayer is postponed, it would be at the time of battles first, and peace is the best conclusion.
#Opening of _ shops _ time
Your trade, your money and your blessing are in the hands of the one who will close your shop to perform your duty towards him. If you leave this duty, do not wait for a blessing with your trade. Live on the farmer. The call of the one who has everything.
And if the order of prayer was postponed, it would have been at the time of battles first and peace is the best conclusion ✋🏻 pic.twitter.com/HaHtTOmhuz
– Al-Zahrani 🇸🇦 (@al_zahrani1403) July 15, 2021
While another tweeter said: “They want to dwarf the rituals of religion, but remember that as long as you are on the truth, you are a whole nation, and if you are alone, hold on to your religion and do not be deceived by the many who follow the paths of falsehood.”
They want to dwarf the rituals of religion, but remember
As long as you are on the truth, you are an entire nation, even if you are alone
— ( 2030 KSA 🇸🇦 CHIRPER ) (@EHKOMOCOP2030) July 15, 2021
Another commented: “He has no problem standing in party queues for long hours, but the problem is if the shops close at prayer time for 20 minutes!!, here he cries for lost times and disrupted interests.”
He has no problem standing in queues for parties for long hours, but the problem is if the shops close at prayer time for 20 minutes!!
Here he cries for lost times and broken interests!!#Opening_shops_time_for_prayer
– His Excellency Al-Barari (@Mrbrary) July 16, 2021
Supporters of the decision
In the same context, others praised the decision on the grounds that it makes it easier for Prime Time Zone amid the non-compliance of shop owners with the closing times of shops.
Finally, by God, I was oppressed. I was in Al-Rashid Mall, Abha, and I was drunk at the time of prayer. I spoke for an hour and a quarter so that they would open and the time came to no avail.
A long-awaited decision
– Nada 💞 (@Nada3166) July 16, 2021
#Opening_shops_time_for_prayer It is assumed that whoever closes his shop under the pretext of performing the prayer will be penalized, and he must employ more than one vendor who takes turns working, especially pharmacies, gas stations, banks, and government and private service agencies.
— Abdullah Abdulaziz Al-Majed (@Majedabdullah22) July 16, 2021
A very beautiful and humane decision.. We were waiting for 45 minutes to close and the result was the customer waiting and the employee inside and the shop praying!!#Opening_shops_time_for_prayer
— MisHaL🇸🇦 مِشْعَل (@Mishal94cr) July 16, 2021
And finally, the best choice is for the owner of the store, and most of them are workers who are not Muslim or alternate between them
— M (@sr_ale3jab) July 16, 2021
And earlier, the Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, Abdul Latif Al-Sheikh, raised the controversy again by defending the decision to reduce the volume of loudspeakers in mosques.
Al-Sheikh said, according to a video clip monitored by Watan, that there are families who complain that loud speakers keep their children awake.
Al-Sheikh explained that the changes were a response to complaints from the public about the loudness of the sound, including the elderly and parents whose children could not sleep continuously.
He added: “He who has the desire to pray does not wait until the imam enters and says the takbeer and hears his voice. He is supposed to go first to the mosque,” adding that there are also several television channels that broadcast prayers.
And he continued: “The ministry did not prohibit an obligation or desirable, and did not impose anything forbidden or disliked, and the residence is for those who are inside the mosque and not outside it.”
The minister said that “enemies” are spreading some criticism of politics in order to incite, claiming that there are “enemies of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who want to stir up public opinion, who want to question the decisions of the state, and who want to dismantle national cohesion through their messages.”
Circular about loudspeakers
In a surprising circular, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs said that the volume of loudspeakers in mosques should not be higher than a third of the device’s pitch.
It also restricted the use of external loudspeakers to raising the call to prayer and iqaamah.
The change comes at a time when there is a broader reform of the role of religion in public life under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, who has eased some strict social restrictions while not allowing any political dissent.
It is too early to determine the extent of the impact of this new directive in the Kingdom. Riyadh residents said the sound in some, but not all, mosques appeared to be quieter.
At least one mosque played loudspeakers for the duration of the prayers, at the same volume as usual, according to Reuters.
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