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Closing stores for prayer hurts Saudi market

A group of businessmen are voicing concerns about the impact of closing businesses during prayer times in Saudi Arabia saying the Islamic tradition is damaging to the economy, Al Arabiya TV reported Saturday.

Abdulah al-Ahmed, CEO of al-Bandar Group told Al Arabiya TV show “Meet the Press” with Dawood al-Shirian that closing down shops during prayer times causes “severe” financial damages to his group, adding that employees’ productivity is also negatively affected.

Dr. Fahad bin Jumaa, a writer and an expert in economics said that shutting down markets five times a day leads to an increase in workload on employees, especially in medium and small-size enterprises.

" There are no judicial articles that state punishment for those who do not comply, and the problem lays in the notion that shops are closed to force people to pray "
Dr. Saad Mattar al-Otaibi, professor of Sharia Policy at the Higher Institute for the Judiciary

Muslims are required to pray five times a day, as the prayers are considered to be one of the five pillars of Islam besides fasting, almsgiving, pilgrimage, and believing in the Oneness of God and the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad.

Proponents of closing the shops say that it is a religious duty to pray and it is important for the country where Islam originates from to maintain this tradition.

Dr. Saad Mattar al-Otaibi, professor of Sharia Policy at the Higher Institute for the Judiciary in Riyadh explained that closing the markets during prayer time was practiced during the time of Prophet Mohammed and also later during his companions’ era.

“There are no judicial articles that state punishment for those who do not comply, and the problem lays in the notion that shops are closed to force people to pray” al-Otaibi added.

Asked about the possible economic damage incurred by closing down the businesses, al-Otaibi said that Islamic philosophy has resolved the issue by putting money at the service of religion and not the opposite.

“One should not read religion from a purely materialistic point of view,” he added.

Meanwhile, judicial researcher, Abdulah al-Owait, said that there is no legal basis for closing down shops.

And in contrast to al-Otaibi, he said that “protecting money should be at the frontier of religious priority, and not closing the stores will also give a better Islamic attribute to the country.”

Recent statistics reveal that the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has 23,710 reported cases of people not praying or not closing down their shops, and the number of detained for violating the these two criteria reached up to 25,000.

After four warnings if violations if found, shops will be closed for 24 hours, and 48 hours if the shop owners were warned for the fifth time.

In very rare cases, continuous violations will reach to courts.

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Religious Endowments and Guidance ,Dr. Tawfiq Al-Sudairy said that the ministry is performing a study to help in the considerations of reducing the length of time between the call of prayer (Azan) and to actually pray.


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Added: Oct-9-2010 
By: ex-Muslim
In:
Middle East
Tags: Saudi. laws, islam
Views: 11292 | Comments: 19 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • I hope they remove this prayer time law so the country would culturally change into a less religious society.

    Posted Oct-9-2010 By 

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  • Wonder what the Religious Poilce think about it?.

    Posted Oct-9-2010 By 

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  • Oh geeze... who's gonna tell them? Let's get Mikey to do it.

    Posted Oct-9-2010 By 

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  • Jeeeeez, that's like asking Italians not to nap after lunch!!!! Fuckin crazy sonzabitches!

    Posted Oct-9-2010 By 

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  • When I was in Sharm El Sheik Egypt, this was a daily OCCURRENCE. cLOSE THE STRE, ALLAH WILLED IT....LOL

    sHARM WENT WESTERN AND WILLED DIFFERENT! nOW CAMEL RIDES ARE MORE ABUNDANT!

    Posted Oct-10-2010 By 

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  • Sadikki got his second camel tooth and hates the Egyptian religious secret service!

    Posted Oct-10-2010 By 

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  • what allah the moon god wants, allah the moon god gets. and she wants you to pray 5 times a day.

    Posted Oct-9-2010 By 

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  • Sunday blue laws in small towns in the South (of the United States) used to be quite strict. Nothing was open on Sundays. In fact, businesses closed up at 1:00 on Wednesdays, so people would have time to get ready for evening services. I still don't like to shop on Sundays, out of pity for the people who have to work then.

    Posted Oct-9-2010 By 

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  • They could have public beheadings instead.
    Always a crowd pleaser.

    Posted Oct-9-2010 By 

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  • Comment of user 'Zardoz003' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Duh...lmao

    Note: Do NOT hire Islamic morons for marketing.

    They suck!

    Oh fook, am I being selective on profiling the oppressed so badly beaten repressed society that has been so badly neglected and lied about in religion.

    Suck it up arse hole....you suck!!!!

    Posted Oct-10-2010 By 

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  • But the harms of Sharms shut all down when I left. The will of islam, to intimidate, murder, rape and destroy.

    Gone for EVER are the artists, money makers and service personnel such as the camel patron.

    Thanks allah, No one has teeth, no one lives a life, all sit in their mud huts in Nama Bay praying to a moon god...

    Your so great...WTF would I do with out you!


    Wiggles tooth.

    Posted Oct-10-2010 By 

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  • Comment of user 'turkishwarrior' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • Comment of user 'nurdmyth' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • The ignorance found on here on LL would almost be funny if it wasn't so sad. Allah translated to English means "The God". Arabic speaking Christians also refer to God as Allah. By referring to the term Allah as "The Moon God" it just makes you look willfully ignorant and very much like a fool.

    How long would it take to Google the word "Allah"?

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    • Comment of user 'nurdmyth' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!