Posted by Rafiq A. Tschannen
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Propagation and Guidance told imams in the capital’s mosque to ensure that no loudspeakers are used for taraweeh and qiyamallail (special night prayers) during the upcoming Ramadan.
The monitors of the ministry noticed during last Ramadan that a number of imams did not adhere to the ministry’s instruction to not use external loudspeakers during the night prayers, Al-Eqtisadiah reported quoting a reliable source.
The imams, who violated the instructions, were summoned to the ministry’s Riyadh branch and made to give an undertaking that they would not use external loudspeakers this Ramadan. The fasting month begins on July 20, depending on the new moon sighting.
Mosques are allowed to use loudspeakers only as stipulated in the ministry’s regulations, the source said. The ministry permits only internal speakers in mosques for taraweeh prayers. The mosques are permitted external loud speakers for congregational prayers but only in such a way that they do not adversely affect the prayers in nearby mosques, the source said quoting Director General of the ministry’s Riyadh branch Abdullah Al-Hamid. Not more than four external horns in four directions could be used. Mosques are also not permitted to install devices to jam mobile phones.
“The imams were also instructed not to delegate their duty of leading taraweeh prayers to someone else without informing the ministry and getting permission in advance,” Al-Hamid said. The imams should remain at their respective mosques during the last 10 days of the month and should not leave even to perform Umrah or to spend the days in Makkah, he said.
According to the ministry’s instructions, imams are not permitted to undertake any activities related to religious propagation unless they are specifically licensed to do so. Imams and muezzins should also ensure that no beggars take alms inside or at the doors of mosques.
Al-Hamid said circulars were sent to all imams that they should discharge their duties in the best manner and in no case should miss any compulsory prayer in their respective mosques. They should strive to maintain the status and spiritual atmosphere of mosques. No mosque official will be granted leave during the month of Ramadan except under unavoidable circumstances and with convincing reasons, the circular said.
The imams should also keep their mosques open during daytime so that worshippers get the opportunity to remain and pray there till the end of the night prayers.
The imams should also see that carpets and premises are regularly and properly cleaned. They should report any shortcoming on the part of cleaning and maintenance contractors so that instant action could be taken.