Grand mufti urges faithful to perform Eid prayer at home
JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti and head of the Council of Senior Scholars and the Department of Scientific Research and Ifta Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Asheikh ruled that it is permissible to perform Eid Al-Fitr prayer at home under exceptional circumstances similar to the current pandemic situation. The prayer consists of two rakats with reciting more numbers of takbeer and without a sermon.
Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, he said that Zakat Al-Fitr could be distributed through charitable societies if they are reliable ones, with the condition that it should be distributed before the day of Eid. The Grand Mufti urged parents to bring joy and happiness to their children and their families by spending more on them.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdul Salam Abdullah Al-Sulaiman, member of the Council of Senior Scholars and the Standing Committee of Fatwa, said that Eid prayer could be performed individually or in congregation.
Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, he said that the worshiper will recite takbeer to start salat and then follow it with six more takbeer in the first rakat before reciting Fatiha loudly and then it is ideal to recite Surah Al-Qaf.
Saudi Arabia takes steps toward post-lockdown normal
RIYADH — The authorities in Saudi Arabia have decided to ease some restrictions put in place over coronavirus fears, allowing movement and resumption of some economic and commercial activities, Saudi Press Agency reported early Tuesday citing an official source at the Interior Ministry.
The move also allows restarting of domestic flights, opening of mosques, restaurants and cafes and work attendance, however, the temporary suspension of Umrah pilgrimage remains in force.
The easing of restrictions will be carried out in a phased manner, with the first phase beginning on Thursday (May 28) and ending on May 30.
In the first phase, the movement within and between all regions of the Kingdom in private cars will be allowed from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. except in Makkah. Economic and commercial activities will resume in retail and wholesale shops and malls but beauty salons, barber shops, sports clubs, health clubs, entertainment centers and cinemas will continue to remain shut due to social distancing concerns.
In the second phase, which begins on May 31 and ends on June 20, the movement is allowed from 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. in all areas of the Kingdom, except in Makkah. All congregational prayers, including Friday prayers, will resume in all mosques across the Kingdom except in Makkah.
The suspension of workplace attendance will end, allowing all employees in ministries, government entities and private sector companies to return to working from their offices provided that they follow strict precautionary guidelines.
The suspension on travel between regions in the Kingdom using various transport methods will no longer be in place. Airlines will be allowed to operate domestic flights if they adhere to precautionary measures set by the civil aviation authority and the Ministry of Health. The suspension of international flights, will, however, continue until further notice.
Restaurants and cafes serving food and beverages can reopen, however, beauty salons, barber shops, sports clubs, health clubs, entertainment centers and cinemas will be barred from reopening in the second phase. The ban on social gatherings of more than fifty people, such as weddings and funerals will also continue to remain in force.
In the third phase commencing on June 21, the Kingdom will return to "normal" conditions as it was before the coronavirus lockdown measures were implemented.
Meanwhile in Makkah, the first phase measures will be implemented between May 31 to June 20 and the second phase will begin on May 21. Friday prayers and all congregational prayers will continue to be held in the Grand Mosque, only to be attended by Imams and the employees.
Renovation of 'Qibli Wall’ in Prophet’s Mosque completed
The project was carried out by the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques and Madinah Development Authority.
MADINAH – The renovation and maintenance works of the “Qibli Wall” (the southern wall facing Makkah) in the Prophet’s Mosque here has been completed. The works included all its heritage decorations, a Saudi Press Agency (SPA) report said.
Initially, all the wooden shelves and cupboards covering the wall were removed. Then the old heritage decoration works were restored at their original locations with precision and according to the highest artistic standards. This is with the aim of preserving the historic and artistic value of one of the components of the mosque’s heritage and history.
This is in line with the state’s policy since the era of late King Abdulaziz (May Allah have mercy on his soul) until the era of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, in preserving the components of the heritage and history of the Prophet’s Mosque, by keeping everything in its original place, except for the necessity to carry out maintenance and renovation works.
The project was carried out by the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques and Madinah Development Authority, with the participation of relevant Saudi specialists.
The rehabilitation and renovation works of the Qibli Wall in the Prophet’s Mosque was carried out on an area that was 72.56 m long and 2.55 m high.
The works comprised renovation and restoration of the decoration components, including a total of 2,100 tiles with glazed decorative frames of various sizes which beautified the wall at the Qiblah.
This is in addition to the restoration and rehabilitation of 126 sq. m. – the total area of all the marble surfaces covering the Qibli Corridor (Al-Riwaaq Al-Qibli).
The Riwaaq Al-Qibli also includes the Mihrab (prayer niche) of Othman Ibn Affan (May Allah be pleased with him), and the “door” (Khokhah) leading to the prayer areas of the Prophet’s Mosque from the chamber of the mother of the believers Hafsah (May Allah be pleased with her), as this constitutes a heritage discovery in decoration and Islamic architecture.
450,000 Umrah performers sent back home amid coronavirus pandemic: Haj ministry
JEDDAH — The Ministry of Umrah and Hajj facilitated the return of as many as 450,000 Umrah performers safely to their countries amid precautionary and preventive measures taken by the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the Kingdom, Saudi Press Agency reported.
Over 60,000 Umrah performers were sent back to their home countries during the five-day Eid holiday, in a first such big operation since the suspension of international flights in the Kingdom.
Around 1,500 Umrah performers, who were stranded in the Kingdom, also left the Kingdom in April in collaboration with the ministries of foreign affairs, health and interior.
Another 40,000 Umrah performers were brought to Makkah from Madinah with the help of the ministry, to complete their rituals.
The ministry also played host to about 2,000 Umrah performers, who failed to go back to their home countries due to the suspension of international flights.
The ministry and its affiliate departments played their part in the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus by carrying out a package of programs and initiatives in accordance with the precautionary measures endorsed by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, the statement added.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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