Avoidance of shoplifting during prayers; Saudi Shura Council postpones deliberations – shoura council postpones deliberations on plea not to close shops during prayer times


  • It is obligatory to close during the five o’clock prayers
  • It is recommended that the Ministry of Islamic Affairs take action

Riyadh: Authorities have postponed a discussion on a recommendation made by some Shura Council members seeking to waive the current law that closes businesses in Saudi Arabia during five early prayers. Shortly before the Shura Council convened yesterday, the House of Representatives said it would not discuss the recommendation.

The new recommendation suggests that the compulsory shoplifting system be reduced to Friday prayers only and closed on other days only by those who are interested. Atta al-Zubaiti, a member of the Islamic and Judicial Committee under the Shura Council; Faisal Al Fadil, Dr. Latifa Al Shalan, Dr. The recommendation was made by Latifa Al Abdul Kareem. Earlier in the day, it was announced that there would be a discussion and a vote on the issue, but it was postponed till the last minute.

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At present, businesses, including pharmacies and petrol stations, are required to close at five o’clock in the morning during prayers. However, the recommendation calls for the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to work with the relevant agencies to limit this to Friday prayers only and to avoid this provision on the remaining days.

The Shura Council said it had postponed to the next meeting the recommendation of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to hand over the construction, maintenance, repair and cleaning of mosques to private companies, in addition to the recommendation regarding shoplifting during prayers. In addition, another recommendation regarding the increase in the number of staff in the mosques, including the Imams, and the revision of their duties was postponed without discussion.

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