Minister Al-Sheikh updates health protocols for mosques

Allowing copies of Qur’an; restoring previous waiting period between calls to prayer

June 20, 2021

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Sheikh issued on Sunday an instant circular to update all health protocols covering mosques in all regions of the Kingdom.

The new directive is based on information received by the ministry from the Public Health Authority regarding preventive protocols for mosques, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic situation.

According to the circular, there has been changes in the timing of the waiting period between two calls for prayer. It has canceled the reduction of the waiting period between the first call to prayer (adhan) and the second call to prayer (iqamah) following the outbreak of the pandemic.

All mosques shall adhere to the previously approved waiting period as follows: 20 minutes for all the obligatory prayers; 25 minutes for Fajr prayer, and 10 minutes for Maghrib prayer.

The circular also stipulated maintaining the opening of mosques for Friday prayers one hour before the Friday call to prayer and closing them 30 minutes after the prayer.

It has also canceled the earlier directive to limit the duration of the Friday sermon and prayers to 15 minutes, with a condition not to lengthen the sermon.

The minister also issued directives to return copies of the Holy Qur’an to mosques, while urging worshipers to bring their own copies of the Qur’an.

Lectures and classes will be allowed in mosques, while adhering to social distancing protocols. The minister also canceled the previous directive to remove water coolers and refrigerators from mosques.

The circular stipulated that all preventive measures shall be complied with and these include wearing a mask, bringing a special carpet, not crowding when entering and leaving the mosque, maintaining a distance of one and a half meters between worshipers, abolishing the requirement to leave an empty row between each two rows.

June 20, 2021
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