Mosques prepare for Ramadan

Updated 16 July 2012
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Mosques prepare for Ramadan

Extensive arrangements are being made in all the mosques to accommodate the extra streams of worshippers during Ramadan.
The start of the holy month will be determined based on the sighting of the moon later this week.
Ramadan is likely to start Friday after astronomers said the new moon could be sighted Thursday evening.
Saudi astronomer Abdul Aziz Al-Shammari said: “The moon will set this coming Thursday six minutes after the setting of the sun, increasing the likelihood of the new moon being sighted on Thursday.”
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance’s department in charge of mosques directed imams and muezzins in the Kingdom to keep the place tidy and ensure adequate supplies of power and water during the holy month to cater to the increased number of Muslims likely to visit mosques for Taraweeh prayers, which follows the regular Isha prayers.
Private contractors that maintain mosques have been asked to be on duty at nights during the holy month to guarantee a continuous water and power supply for all places of worship.
The mosques department maintains more than 6,000 mosques in Riyadh alone and other mosques in the city and suburbs have been built and maintained by members of the royal families and philanthropists in the Kingdom.
Improvised partitions for women will be built in mosques that do not have separate prayer halls for them.
Some of mosques are busy replacing their carpets and others are washing them to ensure they look fresh for the holy month.
Ubaidullah, an imam at a mosque in Riyadh’s Naseeriyah district said yesterday: “Everyone likes to come to the mosques for prayers during the holy month and we expect a larger congregation for Taraweeh prayers.”
He added the holy month not only provides a good opportunity for Muslims to greet one another and but also helps them perform good deeds that will be rewarded by Allah.
He said: “We are making every effort to provide worshippers with a conducive environment to offer their prayers in a serene atmosphere at the mosque."
He added loudspeakers outside the mosque premises would not be used during Taraweeh prayers according to instructions from the mosques department.
Ubaidullah said Isha prayers would be conducted approximately two hours after iftar (breaking of the fast) and would be followed by Taraweeh prayers from 9.15 p.m.
Midnight prayers (Qiyamul Layl) will be conducted from the 20th day of Ramadan until the end of the holy month. These prayers will begin at 1 a.m. for one hour.
Tents will also be constructed adjacent to the mosques to enable worshippers to break their fast during the month.
An official from a maintenance company that looks after 1,300 mosques in Riyadh said employees have been asked to work in the mosques till late at night during the month.
“These laborers are expected to keep the mosques neat and tidy and ensure a smooth supply of water and power.”
Director General of the mosques department in Riyadh Abdullah Al-Hamid said imams have been instructed not to delegate their duty of leading Taraweeh prayers to someone else without informing the ministry and getting permission in advance. Al-Hamid said: “The imams are expected to remain at their respective mosques during the last 10 days of the month and should not leave even to perform Umrah or visit Makkah.”
According to the ministry’s instructions, imams are not permitted to undertake any activities related to religious propagation unless they are licensed to do so.
Imams and muezzins should also ensure no beggar asks for alms inside or at the doors of mosques.
Al-Hamid said circulars were sent to all imams ordering them to perform their duties in the best possible manner and not miss any compulsory prayer in their respective mosques.
They should strive to maintain the status and spiritual atmosphere of mosques, it added.
No mosque official will be granted leave during the month of Ramadan unless there are exceptional circumstances, the circular said.
The imams should also keep their mosques open during daytime so worshippers have the opportunity to remain and pray there until the end of the night prayers.
The imams should also ensure carpets and mosque premises are regularly and properly cleaned.
They should report any contractors who fail to carry keep mosques clean.
Prince Turki bin Sultan, deputy minister of culture and information for information affairs, said a Ramadan broadcasting plan has been approved.
In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency, he said an integral part of the program is the live transmission of Taraweeh prayers and Tahaggud (late night) prayers from the Makkah-based Grand Mosque and the Madinah-based Prophet's Mosque.
He explained Saudi TV is also keen to provide its viewers with coverage of the Saudi Professional League that kicks off during Ramadan, coinciding with the London Olympic Games.


Future leaders key to achieve ‘Vision 2030’

Updated 17 min 20 sec ago
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Future leaders key to achieve ‘Vision 2030’

JEDDAH: Saudi Minister of Civil Service and Chairman of the Institute of Public Administration Sulaiman Al-Hamdan inaugurated the “Developing Future Leaders” roundtable on Wednesday. 

“The Kingdom achieved a distinguished civilizational status due to the wise developmental policies adopted by King Salman’s government as part of its engagement to move forward and achieve more successes and allow the Kingdom to assume its proper regional and international position,” Al-Hamdan said.

“I hope this event will reflect positively on the Kingdom’s administrative development process through the achievement of its objectives,” he said, noting that “the Kingdom’s strategic approach and ambitious vision pose an unprecedented challenge to the civil service system on various levels.”

“The ministry sought to provide an integrated human resources management system by empowering government agencies to effectively play their developmental roles. It did so through a series of directives such as reviewing and developing the executive regulations of the civil service system.”

Dr. Mushabab Al-Qahtani, the institute’s director general, noted that “preparing a second generation of leaders will greatly contribute to the achievement of the Kingdom’s vision.” 

“The subjects of this event aim at highlighting the importance of developing future leaders while discussing the latest means to do so and the role of current leaders in the process,” he said.

“The Kingdom, with the directives of its wise leadership, drew a road map leading to the future national development. It accorded great attention to building and developing human capital,” he added, pointing out that “King Salman’s government greatly focused on administrative and human capital development. This stresses its keenness to develop future leaders through diverse projects, plans and initiatives in order to achieve a sustainable development.”