Saudi Shoura Council considering proposal to reduce time between calls for prayers

Worshippers visit the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia. (AP)
Updated 20 February 2017
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Saudi Shoura Council considering proposal to reduce time between calls for prayers

RIYADH: A proposal by the Shoura Council member Ata Al-Subaiti suggesting the reduction of the period between the first and second call to prayer to five minutes in malls mosques is still being studied by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.
Al-Subaiti said that the reduction of time between the first and second call to prayer has multiple considerations. First, in Islam, there is no specific period of time between the two calls to prayer. However, praying on time is better, according to the fatwa by of the late Islamic scholar Muhammad ibn Uthaymeen, stressing that each country determines the time based on its people’s interests. Second, it enables workers in malls and commercial complexes to pray in congregation, taking into account the interests of shoppers and investors.
The Shoura member referred to the short time between the two calls to prayer in the Grand Mosque.
He pointed out that the shops 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, a time considered very important for a country that is still in its first stages in the course of development. 


Sandstorms cause major health problems, expert warns

A choking cloud of sand covers the Saudi capital. (AP)
Updated 23 May 2018
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Sandstorms cause major health problems, expert warns

  • People should take adequate precautions during sandstorms in Saudi Arabia, says scientist
  • Dr. Sultan Ayoub Meo: The diseases of the respiratory system induced by air pollutants are influenced by the type of dust and duration of exposure to the particles

JEDDAH: An eminent scientist has advised people to take adequate precautions during sandstorms in Saudi Arabia, which can cause a number of health problems, including respiratory complications.

Dr. Sultan Ayoub Meo, professor at the College of Medicine at King Saud University, Riyadh, said that sandstorms are the main cause of bacterial and viral infections, especially among elderly people.

Meo, referring to a series of sandstorms that hit various regions of the Kingdom in the past six weeks, said that “a large number of people, exposed to sandstorms, have complaints of allergic rhinitis, runny nose, wheeze, cough, chest tightness, acute asthmatic attack, eye irritation, redness of the eyes, headache, sleep disturbance and psychological disturbances.”

These are in addition to the respiratory symptoms more common in children and elderly people, he said.

“The most vulnerable part of the body to sandstorms is the respiratory system,” Meo said. “People who are exposed to them are more vulnerable to the air pollutants, as the dust particles enter the respiratory system and cause various health problems.” 

The diseases of the respiratory system induced by air pollutants are influenced by the type of dust and duration of exposure to the particles, he said.

He pointed out that the environmental protection agencies must make use of the print and electronic media to provide information about the exact date and time of sandstorms to minimize unnecessary exposure.

 He advised people to wear masks, which are designed to filter out small particulates, and also airtight goggles to protect the eyes. 

He also suggested that in the desert areas, people might “cultivate the land and adopt a fallow system” as the cultivation and fallow system minimizes the frequency of sandstorms. 

Meo said that the choking dust in sandstorms contains “a large number of bacteria, fungi and viruses.”