Don’t be absent during Ramadan, Saudi ministry warns imams

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs warned all mosque imams not to be absent from prayers during Ramadan

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The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance has strongly warned all mosque imams and muezzins not to be absent from prayers during the fasting month of Ramadan.

“Harsh punishments will await the imams and muezzins who are absent from prayer during Ramadan, especially in the last 10 days, without acceptable excuses,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said it has distributed more than 65,000 copies of the Holy Qur'an in various sizes among mosques in the Kingdom and has allocated enough funds for the repair and maintenance of mosques.

It asked mosque supervisors to closely monitor the conditions of the buildings and the performance of imams and to report any shortcomings.

The ministry asked supervisors never to allow any imam or muezzin to be absent from prayer, particularly during the last 10 days, without a valid excuse.

“You should not accept any lame excuse or allow the imams and muezzins to be absent from the mosque for weak reasons,” the ministry said.

Director of the ministry's branch in Asir Hajjar bin Salem Al-Ammari said the branch would supply its various departments, supervisory offices and mosques with enough copies of the Qur'an in various sizes.

He said the branch has identified all mosques in the region in need of repair and maintenance.

Ammari asked the mosque supervisors to make plans for the sermons and lectures to be delivered in the mosques after Asr (late afternoon) prayer and also between the adhan (prayer call) and iqamah (start of congregational prayer) of the Isha (late evening) prayer.

He asked the muezzins to adhere very strongly to the stipulated times of the adhan.

The director said based on a fatwa (religious edict) by renowned scholar Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Baz, the call for the Isha prayer during Ramadan should be two hours after the Maghreb (sunset) prayer.

He also asked the imams not to increase the volume of the amplifiers and loudspeakers to avoid disturbing residents and other mosques.

The director said the mosques should obtain the ministry's approval before organizing after-parties for fasting congregates.

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