The Islamic Affairs Ministry of Saudi Arabia recently announced new guidelines that must be complied with by all nationals throughout the month of Ramadan. So, what are the rules? Please read on to learn more about the most recent rules for Ramadan 2023 in Saudi Arabia!
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Ramadan 2023 rules in Saudi Arabia
The most recent guidelines for Ramadan in Saudi Arabia in 2023 are summarised below.
- No prolonging the prayers. Prayers are required to be kept brief.
- 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.
- No temporary rooms or tents should be set up for Iftar.
- No Iftar inside mosques.
- Worshippers are encouraged not to bring children to mosques as it will disturb the prayer session.
- Worshippers need to bring their IDs to do i’tikaf.
- In all but the main two mosques in Mecca and Medina, the volume has to be kept low.
- Prayers are banned from broadcast.
His Excellency the Minister of Islamic Affairs #Dr_Abdullatif_Al_Alsheikh issued a circular to all branches of the Ministry of the need to prepare mosques to serve the worshipers, as part of the Ministry's preparations to receive the Holy Month of #Ramadan 1444AH. pic.twitter.com/uTSJ0Jc5JE
— Ministry of Islamic Affairs 🇸🇦 (@Saudi_MoiaEN) March 3, 2023
General Ramadan rules in Saudi Arabia
Restrictions on eating and drinking in public
Even though individuals such as non-Muslims, pregnant women, and the elderly are not expected to fast during the holy month, they are strictly forbidden to eat, drink and smoke publicly during the day, as it’s punishable by law. The word ‘public’ extends to not just open-air places like streets or parks but also to offices, factories and other types of workplaces. Police usually patrol the streets, and both Muslim and non-Muslim violators can be penalized.
Mall working hours
Malls’ working hours change to open doors for all in two shifts, the first shift starts at 10:00 am and until 5:00 pm, and the second shift starts after Isha prayer and last until 2:00 am. Restaurants, on the other hand, open their doors prior to the Al-Maghrib prayer because they usually provide Iftar and Suhoor buffets.
In the last ten nights of Ramadan, working hours will change to remain open all day except the afternoon.