Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Monday issued a circular imposing restriction on the use of external loudspeakers in mosques. The circular issued by the minister of Islamic affairs, Sheikh Dr Abullatif Bin Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh, asked the mosques to only use the loudspeakers for Azaan (call for prayer) and iqamat (the second call for the congregational prayer), local media reported.
According to the circular, the use of loudspeakers during prayer is limited to inside the mosque and the level of loudness should not exceed one-third of the level of the loudspeaker device, and warning against applying penalties to those who violate it.
As per media reports, the ministry relied upon Sharia evidence and rules, which fall under the rule of “no harm or harm”, in addition to the fatwa of Sheikh Muhammad bin Saleh Al-Uthaymeen and Saleh bin Fawzan Al-Fawzan, not to use external amplifiers for usage other than the call to prayer.
This harms patients, old people, and children in the houses in the vicinity of the mosques.
In addition, the ministry clarified that communicating the imam’s voice in prayer is specific to those inside the mosque, and there is no legitimate need to convey it to those in the home. “In addition to the fact that reading the Quran on external amplifiers is disrespectful to the Quran when it is recited loudly using external loudspeakers, while no one is listening to and pondering on its verses,” said to the circular.
This is not the first time that the Saudi ministry has talked about loudspeakers in mosques in the country, as the minister of Islamic affairs had previously asked mosques to reduce the loudspeakers in mosques, during the month of Ramadan in 2019.
In a video released by the ministry in April of 2019, the Saudi minister called on imams and muezzins to “be kind to worshipers in their mosques and neighborhoods by reducing voices that harm people.”