Ministry of Islamic Affairs Issues Two Circulars to Mosques’ Staff in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Suspends Prayers at Mosques over Coronavirus

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance affirmed the necessity that all mosques comply with the precautionary measures and instructions set by the Ministry in accordance with the Royal order that includes lifting the suspension of the Friday prayer and all other prayers with implementing the health protocols issued by the competent authorities from 8 to 28 Shawwal 1441 AH, except the mosques in the city of Makkah.

This came in two circulars issued by Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikh for the mosques’ staff in all branches of the Ministry in the regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The first circular stipulates that the opening of the mosques should be 15 minutes before the call to prayer and the closing should be 10 minutes after the prayer, with keeping the waiting time between the call to prayer and the prayer for 10 minutes, opening the windows and the doors from the beginning till the end of the prayer, temporarily removal of the copies of the Holy Quran and books, obligating the worshipers to leave a distance of 2 meters between each of them, leaving a space by a row between every row in the mosque, ensuring that all water coolers and refrigerators are closed, preventing the distribution of water or food in the mosque or anything else such as perfumes and miswak, and closing the toilets and places of ablution.

The circular also stipulates to keep the suspension of the religious courses, programs and lectures, as well as the memorizing Holy Quran sessions in the mosques and to continue education and lectures remotely until further notice.

The circular pointed out that the imams of mosques should urge the worshipers to take the following precautionary measures: wearing a cloth mask, bringing their own prayer rugs and not leaving them after the prayer, preventing accompanying children under 15 years old to the mosque, performing ablution at home, and avoiding crowding when entering or exiting the mosques. The second circular is about consideration of all mosques in which the crowd is observed at the time of the Friday prayer and locating the nearest mosque for them to hold the Friday prayer, according to the following: the Friday prayer to be held temporarily in the mosques close to the crowded mosques which are prepared to hold the Friday prayer in them according to the instructions announced previously, the first call to prayer should be 20 minutes before the prayer time, and the mosques should be opened 20 minutes before the prayer time and closed 20 minutes after the prayer, and the period of the Friday sermon with the prayer should not exceed 15 minutes.