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Saudi Arabia’s crown prince bans iftar in mosques during Ramadan

Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammad Bin Salman has recently implemented a directive, signaling a shift in the traditional practice of iftar gatherings within mosques ahead of the approaching holy month of Ramadan. The decision, communicated through a notice from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, is grounded in concerns regarding the maintenance of cleanliness within mosque premises.

The government’s directive explicitly states that iftar projects, traditionally organized within mosques, are now prohibited. Instead, the Ministry urges imams and muezzins to identify suitable spaces within mosque courtyards for these communal meals. Notably, the notice expressly prohibits the establishment of temporary rooms or tents within mosque premises for the purpose of hosting iftar events.

Moreover, the directive extends beyond the logistics of iftar arrangements. It stipulates that imams and muezzins should abstain from collecting financial donations for iftar projects aimed at supporting those observing fasting during Ramadan. This move aligns with the broader objective of streamlining practices and ensuring transparency in the distribution of resources during the holy month.

In addition to the ban on iftar gatherings, the notice discourages the use of cameras and photography within mosque premises. This restriction reflects a broader emphasis on preserving the sanctity and solemnity of the mosque environment during Ramadan. Furthermore, the directive explicitly states that prayers should not be broadcasted through any form of media, including online platforms, as part of an effort to maintain the sacred nature of these religious practices.

The holy month of Ramadan, set to commence on March 10 and conclude on April 9 this year, will witness these changes in traditional practices within Saudi Arabian mosques, as the government aims to enhance cleanliness, transparency, and the spiritual atmosphere during this significant period for the Islamic community.

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