Saudi Shoura approves study on reduction of time between calls to prayer

The proposal was previously filed by Council member Ata Al-Subaiti. (SPA)
Updated 10 May 2017

Saudi Shoura approves study on reduction of time between calls to prayer

JEDDAH: The Shoura Council has approved a proposal calling on the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to reduce the period of time between the first (Adhan) and second (Iqama) calls to prayer to five minutes for mosques that are either inside malls/shopping centers or close to them, according to Al-Madina newspaper.
The proposal was previously filed by Council member Ata Al-Subaiti, who said there were multiple considerations when discussing the issue.
Firstly, he said, in Islam there is no specific period of time allotted in between the two calls to prayer. According to a fatwa by late Islamic scholar Muhammad ibn Uthaymeen, each country determines the time based on its people’s interests, he added.
Secondly, it enables workers in malls, shopping centers and commercial complexes to pray in congregation while also taking into account the interests of shoppers and investors.
Al-Subaiti said that sometimes shopkeepers deliberately lock stores a considerable time before the second call to prayer, which could undermine the interests of citizens for over one and a half hour a day.
He said this time is considered very important in a country that is still in its first stages in the course of development.


Saudi health ministry launches app to help monitor COVID-19 patients

Updated 08 April 2020

Saudi health ministry launches app to help monitor COVID-19 patients

  • Royal decree suspends arrest warrants in 69,900 debt-related judicial cases in Kingdom

JEDDAH: The Saudi Ministry of Health has launched a new app aimed at monitoring the conditions of people suspected of having the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Tatamman (meaning, rest assured) app will allow individuals who are self-isolating or in quarantine to access up-to-date advice and information on the virus and their health status.

Ministry spokesman, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly, said: “It (the app) is for those who have the symptoms, or recently returned to Saudi Arabia, those who have been in direct contact with a positive case, as well as those currently under home quarantine as instructed by the ministry.”

Users will be able to daily assess their health condition, receive advice, contact medical staff directly, and evaluate ministry services during their quarantine period. Available in Arabic and English, the app will be supervised by the National Health Emergency Operations Center in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Separately, a royal decree has been issued suspending arrest warrants in 69,900 debt-related judicial cases in the Kingdom in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in prisons.

The latest measures came as Saudi Arabia recorded 327 new cases of COVID-19, taking the total number of active cases to 2,450, and 3,122 since the beginning of the outbreak. So far 631 patients have recovered while 41 have died.

The Saudi General Directorate of Public Security has warned that the use of home service providers such as hairdressers and private tutors would be treated as a violation of restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19, and it urged members of the public to report any such incidents on the Kollona Amn app or by calling 999 for all regions of the Kingdom, except for Makkah region on 911.

In additional to the royal decree on debt-related cases, all rulings and judgments on around 5,000 cases concerning child visits to separated parents were also suspended.

“Relevant authorities have been notified to enforce the new decree and arrest warrants were immediately lifted electronically,” said Mohammad Al-Mutlaq, spokesperson for the Saudi Ministry of Justice. “Orders will remain in force until the end of the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic.”

He added that the ministry has digitized around 120 of its services since the beginning of the health crisis which were available through its Najiz platform. More than 300,000 people had used the ministry’s virtual services in recent weeks, it was revealed.