Saudi Arabia, UAE Shorten Friday Sermons As Weather Crosses 50°C

SAUDI Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, UAE, said it shortened the traditional Friday huduba (sermons) due to intense heat, until early October.

In many countries, Muslims perform the Friday noon prayers, which include a religious sermon, in open-air arenas inside and outside the mosques.

With temperatures reaching past 50°C, UAE authorities have asked imams to limit Friday sermons to 10 minutes until early October to ensure the safety of worshippers.

In Saudi Arabia, Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina are being limited to 15 minutes (prayer and semon), to take into account worshippers praying in outer, un-shaded areas, the Presidency of Religious Affairs said.

Meanwhile in Iraq, influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has urged preachers to “adhere to simple prayers” in order to keep the Friday sermon short, so that worshippers avoid intense heat.

Intense heatwaves has affected people across the Middle East in recent weeks.

More than 1,300 Muslim pilgrims died in the annual Hajj pilgrimage that ended earlier in June amid the extreme heat.

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