Pokémon Go ‘haram’

Pokémon Go ‘haram’
In this July 12, 2016, file photo, Pinsir, a Pokemon, is found by a group of Pokemon Go players at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami. The “Pokemon Go” craze has sent legions of players hiking around cities and battling with “pocket monsters” on their smartphones. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)
Updated 20 July 2016

Pokémon Go ‘haram’

Pokémon Go ‘haram’

JEDDAH: An old fatwa banning the Pokemon Go game has been renewed.
The General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars, on the website of the General Presidency for Scholarly Research and Ifta, has explicitly renewed the fatwa of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas banning the controversial mobile game.
The old fatwa (No. 21,758), issued 16 years ago in 2001, considered the game a form of gambling, which is forbidden in Islam.
Sheikh Saleh Al-Fozan, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, said that the current version of the game is the same as the old one.
The fatwa cited a number of prohibitions that justify the banning of the game, including gambling practices as two of the players compete to gain cards which hold different prices, and the stronger position of the two players wins the card; if the other player does not want to lose the card, he or she must pay its price.
The other prohibitions concern polytheism and the belief in and worship of many gods, in addition to the promotion and advertising of disbelief, logos, forbidden images and other caveats.


Who’s Who: Sultan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of KSA’s Citizen Account Program

Who’s Who: Sultan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of KSA’s Citizen Account Program
Updated 14 May 2021

Who’s Who: Sultan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of KSA’s Citizen Account Program

Who’s Who: Sultan Al-Qahtani, spokesperson of KSA’s Citizen Account Program

Sultan Al-Qahtani has been the spokesman and communication general manager of the Citizen Account Program since 2018.

Al-Qahtani, who received a bachelor’s degree in English translation from King Khalid University (KKU) in 2007, is an ambassador of the Charity Orphans Care Foundation (Ekhaa).

His KSA Awla initiative, which he started in 2010, has succeeded in helping thousands of young men and young women find suitable jobs. Moreover, he is a member of the Saudi Media National Association since 2020. 

After graduation from KKU, Al-Qahtani joined King Abdul Aziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba), where he worked as a creativity prize administrator for nearly 16 months.

During the same period, he served at the leading mobile service provider, Zain KSA, as a marketing administrator for 10 months and as an application supervisor for five months. He also led Zain’s public relations team for more than a year.

For four months, Al-Qahtani worked for the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) as a media and public relations officer.

In October 2012, he started a new job with the Saudi mining firm Maaden, where he provided protocol support to the company’s president in regard to his visits, conferences, tours, and social functions. In December 2013 he moved to SAP, a producer of software for the management of business processes, where he managed marketing events and social media activities in Saudi Arabia.

In April 2017, Al-Qahtani joined the General Entertainment Authority, where he was the media relations manager for nearly a year before moving to the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha’at), where he administered its communication department for six months.


Worshippers at Two Holy Mosques thoroughly screened from coronavirus disease

Worshippers at Two Holy Mosques thoroughly screened from coronavirus disease
Updated 33 min 2 sec ago

Worshippers at Two Holy Mosques thoroughly screened from coronavirus disease

Worshippers at Two Holy Mosques thoroughly screened from coronavirus disease

MAKKAH: Worshippers deemed resistant to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) attended the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah to perform Friday prayers.

All those taking part in worship were required to show Tawakkalna app proof of immunity to the virus and follow strict health and safety protocols.

Entry was allowed for people who had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, those where 14 days had passed since their first jab, and individuals who had recovered after contracting the virus.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has stepped up cleaning operations to 10 sessions a day at the Grand Mosque.


Saudi, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers hold call

Saudi, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers hold call
Updated 14 May 2021

Saudi, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers hold call

Saudi, Palestinian Authority foreign ministers hold call
  • Prince Faisal bin Farhan affirmed the Kingdom's condemnation of illegal practices carried out by Israeli authorities

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister spoke to the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad Al-Maliki on the phone on Friday.

During the call, Prince Faisal bin Farhan affirmed the Kingdom's condemnation of illegal practices carried out by Israeli authorities, and the need to immediately stop the country's escalatory actions that violate all international norms and conventions.

Prince Faisal called for the completion of efforts aimed at finding a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue which would enable the Palestinian people to establish an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and in accordance with international legitimacy decisions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s foreign minister said he had discussed with Prince Faisal targeted efforts to “stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza and the attacks in Jerusalem and the rest of the Palestinian territories,” as a means of ending the current escalation.

“Occupation is the basis of the conflict, and launching an effective political movement to end it is a priority that we are working on with our brothers and partners,” Ayman Safadi tweeted.

Safadi also spoke to his Omani and Egyptian counterparts regarding the escalation in “occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Prince Faisal also received a phone call from Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi during which the two ministers discussed the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The foreign minister also discussed the conflict between Gaza and Israel with his Sudanese counterpart Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi.


Saudi Arabia steps up inspection tours for virus violations

Saudi Arabia steps up inspection tours for virus violations
Updated 6 min 8 sec ago

Saudi Arabia steps up inspection tours for virus violations

Saudi Arabia steps up inspection tours for virus violations
  • Health Ministry reports 927 new cases, 1,608 recoveries, 12 deaths
  • A total of 7,134 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

JEDDAH: Jeddah municipality is working with the Saudi authorities to intensify its field inspection tours on the waterfront during the first days of Eid Al-Fitr to check for violations of the precautionary measures against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The municipality teams carried out 180 inspection tours that detected 69 violations and closing nine sites.

The municipality has put in place field plans to cover the North Corniche, Saif Beach, the Palestine Street Promenade and the Central Corniche, using the necessary equipment to clean the sites at regular intervals, in addition to carrying out intensive sanitization campaigns in seating areas, children’s playgrounds and disinfecting waste containers.

It stressed that it will step up joint field efforts with relevant authorities in the markets, waterfronts and public facilities to follow up on compliance with health preventive measures to control the spread of the virus, especially during the Eid days that are witnessing large turnouts of visitors.

The municipality urged people to comply with precautionary procedures and report any violations on the toll-free number 940 or the “Balady” mobile app.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia reported 12 more COVID-19-related deaths on Friday. The death toll now stands at 7,134.

The Ministry of Health reported 927 new cases, meaning that 431,432 people have now contracted the disease. Of these, 8,551 remain active, 1,323 of them in critical condition.

According to the ministry, 265 of the newly recorded cases were in Riyadh, 262 in Makkah, 128 in the Eastern Province and 69 in Madinah.

In addition, 1,608 patients had recovered from the disease, bringing the total to 415,747 recoveries.

Saudi Arabia has so far conducted 17,868,871 PCR tests, with 56,495 carried out in the past 24 hours.

Saudi health clinics set up by the ministry as testing hubs or treatment centers have helped hundreds of thousands of people around the Kingdom since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Among those testing hubs are Taakad (make sure) centers and Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.

Taakad centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or mild symptoms or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual, while the Tetamman clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms, such as fever, loss of taste and smell and breathing difficulties.

Appointments for either services can also be made through the ministry’s Sehhaty app.

Saudis and expats in the Kingdom continue to receive their COVID-19 jabs, with 11,253,029 people inoculated so far.


King Salman prays for ‘continued security and stability’

King Salman prays for ‘continued security and stability’
Updated 14 May 2021

King Salman prays for ‘continued security and stability’

King Salman prays for ‘continued security and stability’
  • All mosques and prayer areas maintain full health protocols

JEDDAH: King Salman performed Eid prayers in NEOM on Thursday. 

Earlier, he extended greetings to Saudi citizens and residents and Muslims all over the world.

In a tweet on Thursday, the king said: “We thank God Almighty for making the blessed Eid Al-Fitr a sign of good and satisfaction after completing the fasting and prayers of Ramadan. 

“Eid carries hope, optimism, and happiness, and we pray to God to cleanse the entire world of all evil, protect us from harm, and grant us continued security, stability, and tranquility.”

The king said this Eid is an occasion to overcome the ordeal that the world has suffered from the health, social and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

King Salman said he was “optimistic about the positive steps in place to achieve stability in the Arab world, so that security and prosperity prevail for all parts of the globe.”

“Combating this pandemic that has befallen the world requires all of us to adhere to the health measures announced by the Ministry of Health, including social distancing, and the need to receive the vaccine, which will work to immunize our dear community of citizens and residents,” the king said.

Mask-clad worshippers entered Makkah’s Grand Mosque along socially distanced paths to offer Eid prayer. Worshippers at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah also followed COVID-19 protocols.

As Saudi families gathered to celebrate the first day of Eid Al-Fitr, the Kingdom’s health minister urged people to follow official health precautions to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“I need your attention on your Eid. Be careful, refrain from shaking hands completely, be sure to practice social distancing, and avoid large gatherings,” Tawfiq Al-Rabiah tweeted on the eve of festivities.

“Go to the Eid prayer with your own prayer mat, wear the mask constantly, sanitize your hands before and after receiving or giving Eidiya, and leave a safe distance between you and others,” he added. The minister also warned parents not to allow children to hug or kiss their grandparents, saying that such practices may endanger older members of the family.

Worshippers across the Kingdom performed Eid Al-Fitr prayers in 20,569 mosques and open-air prayer areas set up by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance.

Mosques and prayer areas were equipped with facilities in accordance with the health protocols approved by the authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

The imams spoke during the Eid sermon about the blessing of completing fasting and praying qiyaam, and the importance of the continuation of good deeds after Ramadan.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia reported 11 more COVID-19-related deaths on Thursday. The death toll now stands at 7,122.

The Health Ministry reported 1,116 new cases, meaning that 430,505 people have now contracted the disease. There are 9,244 remaining active cases, 1,344 of which are in critical condition.

According to the ministry, 377 of the newly recorded cases were in Riyadh, 320 in Makkah, 134 in the Eastern Province and 71 in Madinah. In addition, 1,129 patients recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 414,139.

Saudi Arabia so far has conducted 17,812,376 PCR tests, with 71,457 carried out in the past 24 hours.

Saudis and expats in the Kingdom continue to receive their COVID-19 jabs, with 11,195,164 people inoculated so far.