Saudi Arabia mosque prayer
The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Abdullatif Al Sheikh issued yesterday a circular easing some COVID-19 restrictions for all mosques across the Kingdom. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: With more than 16.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administrated nationwide, Saudi Arabia has eased some COVID-19 restrictions for mosques.

The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Abdullatif Al Sheikh issued yesterday a circular easing some COVID-19 restrictions for all mosques across the Kingdom.

According to the circular, there have been changes in the timing of the waiting period between two calls for prayer. It has cancelled the reduction of the waiting period between the first call to prayer (adhan) and the second call to prayer (iqamah) following the outbreak of the pandemic.

The minister also issued directives to return copies of the Holy Quran to mosques, while also urging worshipers to bring their own copies of the Quran.

Lectures and classes will be allowed in mosques, while adhering to social distancing protocols. The minister also cancelled the previous directive to remove water coolers and refrigerators from mosques.

The circular said mosques will open one hour before the Friday call to prayer and close 30 minutes after the prayer. Authoroties have also cancelled the earlier directive to limit the duration of the Friday sermon and prayers to 15 minutes, with a condition not to lengthen the sermon.

The circular stipulated that all preventive measures shall be complied with including wearing face masks, bringing a special carpet, avoiding crowding when entering and leaving the mosque, maintaining a distance of 1.5 metre between worshipers, abolishing the requirement to leave an empty row between each two rows.