Saudi Arabia Limits Loudspeakers in Mosques
… Fragile, elderly, and young children might get affected by the high volume use of outdoor loudspeakers and drown out prayers done in surrounding mosques
Saudi Arabia’s decision to limit the use of loudspeakers in mosques has been updated. Many praised the decisions to lower decibel limits in a country with tens of thousands of mosques.
The Islamic Affairs Minister of Saudi Arabia has approved mosques across the kingdom to utilize outdoor loudspeakers at maximum volume during Eid and Friday prayers.
This decision comes after last week’s public outcry leads the administration to reduce the volume. The most recent decision was taken to accommodate the increased number of worshipers attending Eid and Friday prayers and guarantee that those worshiping outside may hear the imam throughout the sermon and prayer.
According to the ministry of Islamic Affairs, fragile, elderly, and young children might get affected by the high volume use of outdoor loudspeakers and drown out prayers done in surrounding mosques.
Even though many people welcome the move to reduce the decibel level in the home to tens of thousands of mosques, the decisions also stirred debate on social media. A hashtag calling for the banning of loud music in restaurants and also cafes gaining attraction.
Dr. Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, Minister of Islamic Affairs, said that the criticism was being spread by the kingdom’s enemies, who want to control public opinion.
Throughout recent years, the Saudi government has promoted moderate Islamic ideals in the region and throughout the world. It has also loosened societal prohibitions, such as prohibiting women from driving and permitting gender-mixed concerts and athletic events, which had been in place for decades. Many Saudis, two-thirds of whom are under 30, have embraced the looser social standards.
In an interview with Al Ekhabariya TV Channel on Monday, Dr. Al Sheikh said that loudspeakers in mosques are a modern thing. It is not something derived from Sharia. Banning them should not raising concerns among Muslims.
According to Dr. Al Sheikh, the adhan (call to prayer) is made at prayer time; thus, people should rush to the mosque instead of waiting for the iqamah (second call to prayer), exclusively for those within the mosque. He also added that the worshippers should be in the mosque on time.