If you’ve lived in Saudi Arabia for long enough then you’d have heard about the lengthy and often unchanged opinion on wether or not shops should remain closed during prayer times or not.
Yesterday, it was announced that the Shura Council met up again to discuss the same issue and the seeming outcomes of the conversations seem to suggest to leave petrol stations and pharmacies open during prayer hours, while other shops would remain closed.
Nothing has been confirmed yet, but peeps seem to be bent out of shape over the news
Some argued that petrol stations and pharmacies are already open during prayer times
…but some peeps argue that this is still a rarity in other parts of the Kingdom
‘Yes, they should be closed at prayer time’
‘Why are they trying to do this?’
Predictions have even come through from some residents
…like Yasir, over here.
Saudi is the only Muslim country that requires all shops to close during prayer time
At the moment, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the only Muslim country that has to have shops close during prayer time.
Years of discussions, back-and-forths and opinions of residents’ have led to higher authorities to foresee the prospects of potentially changing this. In a feature by Saudi Gazette, it is said that experts have shared a couple of reasons why the decision of closing stores during prayer time should be considered.
One being that some factories lose a lot of money due to the short breaks that put operations to a halt, five times a day. Other people, however; argue that factories don’t lose as much and prayer time doesn’t bring up issues to them.
Another Shoura council member, Dr. Fahad Al-Anazi, suggested that shops close only during Friday prayers as the other days are no longer a requirement by the Shariah to do. In addition to this, Al-Anazi says the decision should be taken into consideration since ‘the national economy loses tens of billions of riyals annually.’
There have also been discussions about prayer time being used by other employees as a ‘break time’ or a few minutes to lounge around outdoors.
Until then, the Shoura Council will continue holding discussions so that a decision can be put in place on whether or not to maintain the closing of shops during prayer times or otherwise.