Dubai: Saudi Arabia has issued directives not to hold any dawa (the act of inviting or calling people to embrace Islam) activity without permission. It has also said it will review the content of mosque libraries and remove books that call for extremism and partisanship, local media reported.
According to five circulars issued by Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance, Sheikh Abdullatif Al Sheikh, no dawa activity will be held without obtaining a permit from the ministry and those who violate the directive will be held accountable. Al Sheikh instructed the ministry’s branches should follow up on its implementation and submit periodic reports to the ministry.
The circulars addressed mosque employees, including imams, preachers, muezzins, official preachers and part time preachers in various regions of the Kingdom.
The second circular dealt with combating extremism and partisanship. The minister highlighted the importance of mosque libraries as intellectual storehouses for those seeking knowledge, such as researchers and students.
The minister directed the departments concerned to review these libraries and feed them with what is useful and beneficial, and to remove books that call for extremism and partisanship.
Each branch of the ministry is tasked with preparing lists of books stocked in these libraries and ensuring that no book is deposited in libraries without approval. Mosque employees were also directed to remove all unauthorised books from the libraries.
Al Sheikh requested mosque employees in all regions of the Kingdom to participate in intellectual security courses held by the ministry or other state agencies in order to activate their role in this field. They should also participate by presenting research and scientific papers in seminars and conferences organised by the ministry or other state agencies.
In another circular, the minister instructed mosque preachers to explain to the faithful the correct belief and Shariah rulings, underline the need to observe good manners and morals, as well as to adhere to good citizenship, obey the rulers, and stay away from talking about jurisprudential issues in which there is a divergence of views among scholars.
Al Sheikh issued another circular updating the protocol for funeral prayers. Any dawa activity may be held only after the obligatory prayers and completion of the funeral prayer, and that there should not be any dawa activity in between the first call to prayer (adhan) and second call to prayer (iqamah), and thus causing delay for the timing set by the ministry for holding iqamah. The minister also issued a decision to appoint two additional imams at the Quba Mosque in Madinah.