The Saudi Arabian government has ordered Mosques in the country to ensure that loudspeakers are only used for Adhan and Iqamat prayers and their sound is restricted to one-third of the maximum volume, Saudi Gazette has reported.
A circular issued by Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Dr. Abullatif Bin Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh, instructs all mosques to ensure compliance with the aforementioned guidelines.
This circular comes after the Ministry took note of external loudspeakers being used by the Mosques during prayers which was causing harm to patients, old people and children living nearby.
The report states that as per Sharia rules, the Imam's voice during prayer must be heard by all inside the mosque, and there is no need for it to be heard in the neighbouring houses outside.
"If the prayers, which can go up to 10 to 15 minutes, are loudly played on speakers, it can cause discomfort to those living next to the mosques, including Muslims and non-Muslims", a resident has been quoted as saying.
"I always wondered why the speakers were so loud. It is not a competition between imams of different mosques. Sometimes the prayer is so loud, I can hear two mosques at the same time, so there’s not only the extra noise but overlapping of prayer that is easily avoidable", said another resident while welcoming the new circular.