September 26, 2021
Saudi Arabia Toned Down Mosques

Saudi Arabia Toned Down Mosques

Saudi Arabia , the cradle of Islam, has decided to limit the use and volume of external speakers in mosques to call for prayer. The megaphone can only be used for the call itself (adhan) and for the signal that indicates the beginning of the prayer (iqamah), but not to broadcast the entire prayers or the sermon that follows some of them, according to a recent order from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. Furthermore, the volume may not exceed one third of the total power of the appliance. Not everyone is happy.

The muezzin’s call marks the course of the day in many Middle Eastern cities just as church bells did in Europe in the past. Five times a day, his more or less fortunate song prevails over the urban bustle to summon the faithful to prayer. Neither Istanbul nor Cairo would be the same without those interruptions.

But the muezzin’s voice has long been amplified through loudspeakers that compete in power with those of neighboring mosques, when it is not replaced by a recording of varying quality. Neighbors’ complaints about the cacophony have led to regulating its use in some countries. This is often more of a political measure than a religious one or guided by the welfare of citizens.

The Saudi decision has also been interpreted in the context of the reforms that the heir, Prince Mohamed Bin Salmán , has introduced since the coming to power of his father, King Salmán. “It is another step in the weight loss of the religious,” confides an analyst.

The prince, de facto ruler of the kingdom, has already reduced his control of society when he removed the religious police from the streets and relaxed some restrictions such as the segregation of the sexes or the prohibition of music in public places.

Many Saudis, especially young people who make up two-thirds of the population, celebrated these changes on social media . Those who disagreed were silent. Now, however, critics are making noise, despite the risk of questioning official policies. Under the label in Arabic “Call to prayer. Popular demand ”(# صوت_الصلاه_مطلب_شعبي), they post videos with these songs in different mosques and messages in which they advocate for the spread of prayers to be maintained.

One of the most active detractors, who identifies himself as Mohamed al Yehya, tweeted: “As the reading of the Holy Quran through the loudspeakers has been silenced with the excuse that it annoys some people, we hope that attention will be paid to a large segment of the population that is disturbed by loud music in restaurants and shopping centers ”.

Al Yehya, who presents himself, among other things, as an admirer of the singer Fairuz, assures that last Friday there were many complaints from believers who could not follow the imam in various mosques. Due to the covid, they attended the noon prayer from outside. Therefore, he asks that the measure be reviewed.

The complaints appear to have reached the top, as the Islamic Affairs Minister himself, Abdullatif al Sheikh, has appeared to defend the decision. In a video broadcast by the Al Ekhbariyah network, he reiterates the initial argument that he responds to people’s complaints about the excessive volume of the loudspeakers, especially from the elderly and parents of children who are awakened by the call to prayer.

“Those who want to pray do not need to wait for the voice of the imam; they should be in the mosque beforehand, ”he ditch, in addition to remembering that several television channels broadcast the prayers.

The regime’s propagandists have been quick to seek Islamic jurisprudence to back the measure. “It is an implementation of the principle ‘do not harm others, nor should others harm you,” explained the Saudi Gazette newspaper .Saudi Arabia , the cradle of Islam, has decided to limit the use and volume of external speakers in mosques to call for prayer.

The megaphone can only be used for the call itself (adhan) and for the signal that indicates the beginning of the prayer (iqamah), but not to broadcast the entire prayers or the sermon that follows some of them, according to a recent order from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. Furthermore, the volume may not exceed one third of the total power of the appliance. Not everyone is happy.

The muezzin’s call marks the course of the day in many Middle Eastern cities just as church bells did in Europe in the past. Five times a day, his more or less fortunate song prevails over the urban bustle to summon the faithful to prayer. Neither Istanbul nor Cairo would be the same without those interruptions.

But the muezzin’s voice has long been amplified through loudspeakers that compete in power with those of neighboring mosques, when it is not replaced by a recording of varying quality. Neighbors’ complaints about the cacophony have led to regulating its use in some countries. This is often more of a political measure than a religious one or guided by the welfare of citizens.

The Saudi decision has also been interpreted in the context of the reforms that the heir, Prince Mohamed Bin Salmán , has introduced since the coming to power of his father, King Salmán. “It is another step in the weight loss of the religious,” confides an analyst.

The prince, de facto ruler of the kingdom, has already reduced his control of society when he removed the religious police from the streets and relaxed some restrictions such as the segregation of the sexes or the prohibition of music in public places.

Many Saudis, especially young people who make up two-thirds of the population, celebrated these changes on social media . Those who disagreed were silent. Now, however, critics are making noise, despite the risk of questioning official policies. Under the label in Arabic “Call to prayer. Popular demand ”(# صوت_الصلاه_مطلب_شعبي), they post videos with these songs in different mosques and messages in which they advocate for the spread of prayers to be maintained.

One of the most active detractors, who identifies himself as Mohamed al Yehya, tweeted: “As the reading of the Holy Quran through the loudspeakers has been silenced with the excuse that it annoys some people, we hope that attention will be paid to a large segment of the population that is disturbed by loud music in restaurants and shopping centers ”.

Al Yehya, who presents himself, among other things, as an admirer of the singer Fairuz, assures that last Friday there were many complaints from believers who could not follow the imam in various mosques. Due to the covid, they attended the noon prayer from outside. Therefore, he asks that the measure be reviewed.

The complaints appear to have reached the top, as the Islamic Affairs Minister himself, Abdullatif al Sheikh, has appeared to defend the decision. In a video broadcast by the Al Ekhbariyah network, he reiterates the initial argument that he responds to people’s complaints about the excessive volume of the loudspeakers, especially from the elderly and parents of children who are awakened by the call to prayer.

“Those who want to pray do not need to wait for the voice of the imam; they should be in the mosque beforehand, ”he ditch, in addition to remembering that several television channels broadcast the prayers.

The regime’s propagandists have been quick to seek Islamic jurisprudence to back the measure. “It is an implementation of the principle ‘do not harm others, nor should others harm you,” explained the Saudi Gazette newspaper.

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