Saturday, March 25th, 2023 04:04:39

Saudi Arabia promotes more moderate form of Islam

Updated: March 18, 2023 1:49 pm

On March 3rd, a document containing ten directives for Saudi Arabia’s residents to follow during Ramadanwas issued and circulated by Sheikh Abdullatif Bin Abdulaziz Al-Alsheikh, the Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance.
The guidelines prohibit mosques from collecting monetary donations to organize meals for worshippers, and require that such meals be prepared and held in designated areas within mosque courtyards rather than inside the mosque. The imam and muezzin are responsible for overseeing these meals.

The limitations imposed by Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Affairs Ministry on its residents’ behaviour during the month of Ramadan have angered Muslims all over the world. These new rules, according to experts, point to a shift in Saudi identity away from Islam as the country’s central tenet. Some have claimed on Twitter that Mohammed bin Salman “is driving Islam out of public life.” Saudi Arabia’s domestic and foreign politics are intricately interwoven because of its unique history. Islam has maintained a significant role in the development and application of the kingdom’s largely defensive foreign policy as a component in justification and an instrument of “soft power” diplomacy.

What is NOT allowed?
– A ban on donations for mosques

– Prohibition of after-sunset iftar meals in mosques

– Prayers are required to be kept brief

– Children are not allowed to pray in mosques

– Worshippers must bring their identification documents

– Apart from the main mosques in Mecca and Medina, volume levels must be kept low, and prayers cannot be broadcast.

– No prolonging the prayers

– If cameras are used in the mosque, they should not be used to take pictures of the imam or worshippers during prayers.

– No financial donations should be collected for projects to feed people who are fasting.

– If food is provided for people who are fasting, it should be done in designated areas and cleaned up afterwards.

– No temporary rooms or tents should be set up for iftar, as per the new rules.

– No iftar inside mosques

– No itikaf without ID

Mohammed bin Sultan, also known as MBS, is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and has been leading efforts to modernize the country and its society. Some of his initiatives include:

Economic Reforms: MBS launched the Vision 2030 initiative, which aims to diversify the economy and reduce dependence on oil. This includes plans to privatize state-owned assets, develop the tourism sector, and attract foreign investment.
Social Reforms: MBS has implemented several reforms aimed at improving the status of women in Saudi society. For example, women are now allowed to drive, attend public events, and run for office. He has also relaxed some of the country’s strict social codes, such as allowing public concerts and lifting a ban on cinemas.
Religious Reforms: MBS has sought to promote a more moderate and tolerant form of Islam, with a focus on countering extremism and promoting interfaith dialogue. He has also taken steps to reduce the influence of conservative religious authorities in the country.
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has vowed to return the country to “moderate Islam” and asked for global support to transform the hardline kingdom into an open society that empowers citizens and lures investors. In an interview with the Guardian, the powerful heir to the Saudi throne said the ultra-conservative state had been “not normal” for the past 30 years, blaming rigid doctrines that have governed society in a reaction to the Iranian revolution.

These reforms have been met with mixed reactions in the Muslim world. Some have praised MBS for his efforts to modernize Saudi Arabia and promote a more moderate form of Islam. Others, however, have criticized him for his authoritarian tendencies and human rights record, particularly in relation to the war in Yemen and the detention of political activists. Additionally, some conservative religious figures in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries have opposed his reforms, viewing them as a threat to traditional Islamic values.

Posted By Uday India

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