Saudi Mecca clock
This picture taken on May 24, 2020 during the early hours of Eid Al Fitr shows an aerial view of Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca, with the Abraj Al Bait Mecca Royal Clock Tower overlooking the Grand Mosque and Kaaba in the centre. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: The Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance has dismissed a number of Friday preachers for deputising others to deliver the Friday sermons (Khutba) without notifying the ministry, Okaz newspaper reported.

Under the ministry’s regulation, preachers are prohibited from deputising or skipping their scheduled sermons if they are asked to speak on a topic that has already been approved by the ministry.

Many preachers who have been in pulpits for decades have been dismissed and subjected to accountability, due to their absence and deputising others to deliver a sermon that contradicts the sermon asked by the ministry.

The Friday preachers who were sacked were also designating substitutes to lead the prayer, which allows the substitute to decide on the sermon’s topic on their own, disregarding the ministry’s directive to specify the Khutba’s theme in advance.

According to the paper, the ministry has improved the selection of topics for Friday sermons, so that it touches reality and impacts daily life of people.

The ministry said it is keen to carefully select Friday sermon topics that would promote unity, warn against terrorist groups like Muslim Brotherhood and Al Sururiya organisation.