Minister Al-Sheikh orders review of mosque library content; removal of books that call for extremism

August 30, 2021

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Sheikh issued directives to review the content of mosque libraries and remove books that call for extremism and partisanship. He also instructed not to hold any dawa activity without permission.

These directives were part of five circulars issued by the minister on Sunday, addressing mosque employees, including imams, preachers, muezzins, official preachers and part time preachers in various regions of the Kingdom.

One of the circulars stressed that no dawa activity will be held without obtaining a permit from the ministry and those who violate the directive will be held accountable. Al-Sheikh instructed that the ministry’s branches should follow up on its implementation and submit periodic reports to the ministry.

Another circular was pertaining to combating extremism and partisanship. The minister highlighted the importance of mosque libraries as intellectual storehouses and incubators for intellectuals and those seeking knowledge such as researchers and students.

The minister directed the officials to review these libraries and feed them with what is useful and beneficial and to remove books that call for extremism and partisanship and similar topics.

Each branch of the ministry is tasked to prepare lists of books stocked in these libraries and ensure that no book is deposited in libraries until after it has been presented to the competent authority in the ministry. The mosque employees are also directed to ensure removing all unauthorized books from the libraries.

Al-Sheikh directed the mosque employees in all regions of the Kingdom on the importance of participating in intellectual security courses held by the ministry or other state agencies in order to activate their role in this field. They should also participate by presenting research and scientific papers in seminars and conferences organized by the ministry or other state agencies.

In another circular, the minister instructed mosque preachers to explain to the faithful the correct belief and Shariah rulings, underline the need to observe good manners and morals, as well as to adhere to good citizenship, listen and obey the rulers, and stay away from talking about jurisprudential issues in which there are divergence of views of scholars, saying that this would lead to embarrassment and confusion.

Al-Sheikh issued another circular that contains an update in the protocol for funeral prayer. Any dawa activity may be held only after the obligatory prayers and completion of the funeral prayer, and that there should not be any dawa activity in between the first call to prayer (adhan) and second call to prayer (iqamah), and thus causing delay for the timing set by the ministry for holding iqamah. The minister also issued a decision to appoint two additional imams at the Quba Mosque in Madinah.

August 30, 2021
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