Saudi Arabia Launches Portal for Iftar Permits at Grand Mosque Following Ban

Jeddah, MINA – Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has announced the launch of a new e-portal through which Muslims can apply for permits to organize iftars at the Grand Mosque in Makkah during the month of Ramadan.

According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), applications can be submitted by visiting the general presidency’s website where iftar banquets can be selected in addition to obtaining the permits.

News of the government portal comes weeks after Saudi authorities declared that iftar gatherings would be banned in mosques ahead of the start of the fasting month, citing hygiene concerns.

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Last month, a statement released by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs said that “iftar projects should not be carried out inside mosques out of concern for their cleanliness.”

“Imams and Muezzins should find an appropriate place for iftar in the courtyards of the mosques. No temporary rooms or tents should be created for this purpose,” the notice added, MEMO reported.

The ministry also issued orders restricting imams and muezzins from collecting financial donations for organising iftar feasts.

Saudi Arabia which uses astronomical calculations to ascertain the start and end of each Islamic month will likely observe the beginning of Ramadan on 10 March although the exact start date will be confirmed closer to the date. Other countries and authorities will determine the month through sighting the moon with the naked eye or through using optical aids.(T/R3/RE1)

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Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)