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6 reasons to reconsider closure of shops during prayer timings

Prayer timings & Closure of Shops, Shopping Malls, Supermarkets

The Saudi Arabia is a country which is quite famous in regularly and completely practicing religious activities. The Muslims around the world appraise this kind of Islamic environment which Saudi Arabia has actually developed over the period of time.

Many of us living inside and outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are well aware that Saudi Arabian Government really promotes the timely offering of prayers in Masjid and to implement and support this religious practice, the shops and the business activities are being closed during each prayer timings.

The shopkeepers, supermarkets and hypermarkets and shopping malls etc. all of them follow this law and at the time of AZAAN (Calling for prayer) the business premises are actually being closed till the completion of Prayers in Masjid.

Experts opinions regarding the decision of closing stores during Prayer time

The discussion of the idea as to whether the Shops and the supermarkets should be closed or not during the prayer time has been there since quite long. There are certain opinions in the favor of the closure and the rest claims that opening the shops and other related business activities during prayer time is favorable and will definitely contribute to the economy.

The Experts in Saudi Arabia have also taken this issue to comment and have presented their certain viewpoints whereby the idea of closing stores and business activities can be analyzed in terms of its merits and demerits.

Reasons to be considered for analyzing to close the stores during Prayer timings

We have enlisted and summarized below for our readers the 6 reasons which the experts have actually think as to why the decision of closing stores during prayer time should be considered.

S.No. Reasons to consider for Shop Closure Merit of the Opinion
1 It is also one of the experts’ opinion that there are certain factories which loose a handsome amount of money as they need to close their business activities, shops, supermarkets etc. during prayer time. This all has to be strictly followed since the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the only Muslim country that requires all shops to close during prayer time. Both of the opinions carry weight and have its own merits and demerits
On the other hand, some insist that the factories do not lose as much and that the prayer time does not pose any problem to them.
2 One of the experts claims that shops should only close during the Friday prayer. On other days, they are not required by the Islamic law (Shariah) to do so. He hopes that authorities would reconsider the decision that require shops to close in time for every prayer because it costs the national economy tens of billions of riyals each year. Good opinion and carries good weight to be considered in financial terms while taking the decision for shops and business activities to remain open during prayer time.
It is further analyzed that it is quite costly in terms of an economic view to close the shop and business activities five times a day for an hour or so and the only beneficiary for such closure goes to the non-Muslims.
3 Another expert view is quite remarkable and it further goes to say that at least the following economic activities should remain open during prayer timings:

  • Healthcare centers.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Gas stations and
  • Airline offices.

He stressed that such facilities provide important services to the public and should not close down during prayer time. Some government sector employees use the prayer time as a pretext to sneak out of work and waste time outside.

Good opinion as it discusses the importance of some business activities which are very important to remain open during the prayer timings as well.
4 Another expert also stated and agreed that the decision should be reconsidered. He said some businesses and centers should be definitely exempted from the decision. The opinion is fair and needs to be considered for the final decision making.
5 Another expert claims that the fatwa that urged people to close their shops for prayers was issued more than three decades ago and was based on the personal opinion of the sheikh who issued it. There is no Shariah text that mandates such stoppage of work during prayer time. Good opinion but needs to be validated in the light of Islamic teachings and should be considered in the final decision making.
6 One of the investor who owns a factory actually claimed that stopping work and having break during the prayer time has a negative impact on the output. Both of the opinions carry weight and have its own merits and demerits
However, another economic expert, said some studies have exaggerated the losses resulting from the decision. He believes that closing down shops during prayer time is not something obligatory in the Shariah but is something commendable because it gives a believer’s time to perform the obligatory prayers on time.

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Source: Saudi Gazette

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