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Saudi Shoura Council to Vote on Not Closing Shops during Prayer Times

The Shoura Council in Saudi Arabia will vote on Monday on a proposal not to compel commercial establishments and shops to close during prayer times except for Friday prayers.

According to rahyafte (the missionaries and converts website) The proposal was in the form of an additional recommendation on the report of Shoura’s Islamic and Judicial Affairs Committee regarding the report of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance.

The proposal requests the ministry, to work, in coordination with the concerned agencies, not to compel commercial establishments, including gas stations and pharmacies, to close during daily prayer times, except for Fridays.

In the recommendation, they cited a number of justifications in favor of their demand. According to the justifications, closing shops during prayer times has been prevailing since a few decades only in Saudi Arabia as a rare system that does not exist in any other countries in the Arab and Islamic world.

This system came into being in the Kingdom on the basis of ijtihad (independent reasoning on a legal issue) carried out by a government agency and there is no legal basis for this, the Shoura members said while noting that the commercial establishments are engaged in serving people and earning a living like other government and private sector entities.

They are of the view that closing shops for the performance of prayers was not mentioned either in the Holy Quran or in the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The verses of the Holy Quran are devoid of any text that commands the closure of shops before and during the prayer times, except for Friday prayers, the Saudi Gazette reported.

The Sayings of the Prophet (PBUH) that are attributed to justifying the closure of shops are weak as they have broken chains of narrators, and they are contradictory to some authentic Sayings of the Prophet (PBUH) that stipulate the permissibility of prayer in any place.


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