The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia issued a notice on Monday banning the use of outer loudspeakers in mosques. According to local media, the notice issued by the minister of Islamic affairs, Sheikh Dr Abullatif Bin Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh, asked mosques to only use the loudspeakers for Azaan (call to prayer) and iqamat (the second call for communal prayer).

The notice states that the use of loudspeakers during prayer is confined to being inside the mosque and that the level of loudness should not exceed one-third of the level of the loudspeaker device, and it warns against penalizing those who violate it.

Saudi flag
The flag of Saudi Arabia.Reuters

Furthermore, the ministry explained that communicating the imam's voice in prayer is limited to those inside the mosque and that there is no legitimate reason to communicate it to those at home. "In addition, 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 its verses," the circular clarified.

According to media reports, the ministry relied on Sharia (Islamic law) evidence and rules that fall under the rule of "no harm or harm," as well as the fatwa (ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognised authority) of Sheikh Muhammad bin Saleh Al-Uthaymeen and Saleh bin Fawzan Al-Fawzan, not to use external amplifiers for purposes other than the call to prayer.

This is not the first time the Saudi ministry has discussed loudspeakers in mosques in the country, as the minister of Islamic affairs previously asked mosques to reduce the use of loudspeakers during the month of Ramadan in 2019.