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.