Saudi Arabia has ordered mosques in the country to reduce volume of loudspeakers to more than one-third of their maximum volume.
Abdullatif al-Sheikh, the country’s Islamic Affairs Minister, gave the directive last week.
According to the minister, the directive was issued owing to complaints from the public that the noise from the speakers is disturbing to children and elderly persons.
However, the decision has sparked controversy in the country, as some are against it, while others are in support.
According to reports, those against the order said it should also be replicated in restaurants and cafes.
Amid the controversy, on Monday, al-Sheikh defended the decision, noting that those who want to pray should not wait for the Imam’s call.
He described those who are against the directive as “enemies of the kingdom”, who want to stir public opinion.
“Those who want to pray do not need to wait for … the imam’s” call to prayer,” al-Shekh was quoted as saying by Aljazeera.
“They should be at the mosque beforehand.”
This is not the first time Saudi Arabia will issue an order to change age-long practices, especially those relating to Islamic doctrines.
In 2020, it announced the relaxation of certain laws to allow unmarried couples to cohabitate and on the use of alcohol.