Workers at the Grand Mosque in Makkah prepare iftar spreads for visitors before sunset, in this file picture. Image Credit: SPA

Cairo: Saudi authorities have barred imams of mosques in the kingdom from collecting donations to fund serving Iftar or fast-ending meals to worshippers during the upcoming Islamic month of Ramadan.

The ban is part of Ramadan-associated arrangements introduced by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Call which is in charge of mosques in Saudi Arabia.

The ministry pointed out that the Iftar banquets served at sunset in Ramadan should not take place inside mosques to keep them clean, and instead be held at a designated place in courtyards.

Other rules linked to the lunar month of Ramadan include a ban on the use of cameras installed inside mosques to film the imam leading the prayers or the worshippers so as not to distract them.

Transmitting and broadcasting prayers via different media is banned too.

Other directives announced by the ministry include the necessity for the muezzins, who recite the call to prayer, to adhere to the prayer timings set in the Saudi calendar of Umm Al Qura and the break between the adhan (prayer call) and the start of the prayer performance in line with the fixed timing except in connection to the evening and dawn prayers when the gap during Ramadan should be 10 minutes to facilitate things for worshippers.

Moreover, the imams are exhorted to avoid prolonging the time of Taraweeh, voluntary nightly prayers offered in Ramadan, and to deliver sermons beneficial to worshippers especially those highlighting rules of fasting and merits of the sacred month of Ramadan.

Muslims abstain from eating and drinking every day from dawn to sunset during Ramadan expected this year to begin on March 11.