“Forcing shops to shut during prayer time is a heresy without any basis … this practice has not been sanctioned by Sharia nor is it accepted by any sound mind … there is legal and religious evidence showing this measure is against Islamic sharia … Forcing shops to close harms their business and is unfair to all those involved in economic activity… in what way such restrictions serve Islam? … Islam has never forced businesses to shut during prayer times but some shop owners used to close voluntarily so they can perform prayers”
Sheikh Abdullah al Owailit, a member of the government’s religious investigation committee, said last week regarding the requirement of having shops and other business outlets in Saudi close for at least 30 minutes during prayer times every day. The measure is enforced by members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the most feared law enforcement authority in Saudi Arabia. Commission members are massively deployed in town centers and residential areas to ensure all shops comply with the rule and to punish offenders.
Source: BikyaMasr (full article here).
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