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Saudi Arabia, UAE shorten Friday sermons as weather crosses 50°C

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Saudi Arabia, UAE shorten Friday sermons as weather crosses 50°C

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have announced a temporary shortening of the traditional Friday huduba (sermons) due to extreme heat, effective until early October.

Muslims in many countries perform the Friday noon prayers, including a religious sermon, in open-air arenas inside and outside mosques. With temperatures surpassing 50°C, UAE authorities have requested imams to limit Friday sermons to 10 minutes 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 now limited to 15 minutes (including prayer and sermon) to accommodate worshippers in unshaded outer areas, as per the Presidency of Religious Affairs.

READ ALSO: Hajj: Nigerian Pilgrims from 32 states set for Arafat as 1.5m arrive Saudi Arabia

In Iraq, influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has urged preachers to “adhere to simple prayers” to shorten the Friday sermon, helping worshippers avoid the intense heat.

Intense heatwaves have impacted people across the Middle East in recent weeks. Over 1,300 Muslim pilgrims died during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which concluded earlier in June amid the extreme heat.

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