Saudi Arabia to restrict volume levels at mosques during Ramadan

Mosques can operate at full capacity for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic

Saudi mosques will only be permitted to use loudspeakers for the first and second calls to prayer during Ramadan. AFP
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Saudi Arabia has announced restrictions on volume levels for loudspeakers at mosques during Ramadan.

Speakers must not exceed a third of their full volume, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs said.

Officials have asked mosque staff to ensure they abide by circulars that limit the use of external loudspeakers for the first (adhan) and second (iqamah) calls to prayer.

Speakers cannot be used for additional prayers during the holy month.

This is the first time that mosques will operate at full capacity during Ramadan since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ministry has issued circulars to help prepare mosques the holy month, including bans on collecting financial donations for iftar meals.

Those who wish to host an iftar at mosques must submit an application to the authorities.

The ministry has also banned the live transmission of prayers from mosques on all types of media during Ramadan.

In June last year, the ministry said speakers should be set at no more than a third of their maximum volume.

Using external loudspeakers at a high volume could affect the vulnerable, the elderly and young children and drown out prayers held in nearby mosques, it said.

Last week, the government announced Ramadan plans for the Grand Mosque in Makkah and Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah that include the use of artificial intelligence in apps.

It also said robots would be used to serve Zamzam water and sterilise the grounds of the mosques. Up to 12,000 workers will be available to help pilgrims during Ramadan.

The King Fahd Expansion, Third Saudi Expansion and all courtyards at the Grand Mosque will be open for worshippers, with no social distancing measures in place.

Updated: March 30, 2022, 6:41 AM
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