Saudi Arabia officials has tightened regulations for pilgrims in Makkah and Madinah by issuing the new Hajj and Umrah guidelines which are introduced to the public on Saturdays.
According to the government, pilgrims, whether coming from within the kingdom or from other countries, have been seen using mobiles during the call of prayer (Adhan), which is immoral and prohibited.
Therefore, Saudi authorities warn the public against playing or turning up the volume of music inside residential areas during Adhan and Iqamah (the Islamic first and second calls to prayer, respectively).
It is emphasized that anyone caught playing any kind of ‘music’ during the call of prayer from mosques will now be fined SAR 1,000 for a first-time violation and if the violation repeats the fine will increase to SAR 2,000.
It is important to remember that the fine will only be imposed if music is played loud while Adhan is being called from a mosque. It also applies to those playing loud music in their cars or homes. However, the rule does not apply to people listening to music on their headphones.
In addition, Saudi Arabia has also imposed a fine of SR 500 on anyone who raises the volume of music in a residential neighborhood, if a complaint is filed by a neighborhood resident.
The Saudi Arabian government has also introduced a new fine ranging from SR 250 to SR 500 for anyone wearing shorts inside mosques or government offices.
According to Saudi officials, wearing shorts in mosques and government institutions after the implementation of the new code of conduct is against social etiquette.
however, the government has clarified that men wearing shorts in public would not be considered a violation of public decorum except in mosques.
The new fines were introduced shortly after Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Saud Bin Naif issued a ministerial decree calling for changes to public decorum regulation.
In the new decree, 19 violations on the list of approved public etiquette offenses in 2019 have now been changed to 20 violations. According to the ministry, violations in this list will be punished with fines ranging from SR 50 to SR 6000. In fact, most of these are already prohibited in Saudi Arabia but previously no specific punishment was given and the decision was left to the judge.