Saudi Shura rejects call to delay Isha prayers

Manama: Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council has turned down a proposal to delay the Isha (evening prayers) by half an hour. The adhan (call) for the Isha, the last of the five daily prayers required from Muslims, is made 90 minutes after the Maghrib prayers at sunset.

However, members of the Shura Council, the kingdom’s advisory body, had submitted a recommendation to delay the call in large cities by 30 minutes.

In their recommendations, they argued the time between Maghrib and Isha prayers was too short and posed challenges for people living in large cities trying to finish their errands.

Delayed adhan could also benefit shopkeepers who want to close their businesses by the last prayers of the day, the recommendation said.

However, on Tuesday, the Shura did not endorse the recommendation. A member said there was a misunderstanding about the delay in the Isha prayers and that some people thought it would be held very late in the evening.

“They should have stressed the recommendation is to maintain the Ramadan tradition of two hours between the prayers throughout the year,” he said.

During Ramadan, the call to the Isha prayers is made two hours after the Maghrib prayers in Saudi Arabia.

The extra 30 minutes are meant to give worshippers more time to rest following a day of fasting.

Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar (354 days), is expected to start in mid-May this year.


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