Ramadan broadcasts from Makkah & Madinah to continue despite ban fears
A news outlet linked to the two holy mosques in Makkah and Madinah said live broadcast of prayers during Ramadan will go ahead after rumours emerged of a ban.
Rumours spread on social media that Saudi had banned media outlets from broadcasting prayers during the month of Ramadan. But Haramain Sharifain, a publication that brings the latest news from the two mosques, said TV channels will continue uninterrupted live broadcasts from Masjid al-Haram and Masjid al-Nabawi.
"This is incorrect, Broadcast will continue throughout Ramadan 24/7 from State Channels Quran and Sunnah TV," it said in a tweet response to the rumours.
In another tweet, the publication said official sources at the TV channels confirmed the broadcasts will happen.
Muslim worshippers from around the globe watch live footage from the Grand Mosques in Makkah and Madinah during Ramadan. Live Taraweeh and Jumuah prayers from Makkah and Madinah are at the heart of Islam Channel's Ramadan programming.
Backlash on social media
Backlash on social media ensued after the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance earlier in the week released a wider statement giving advice to mosques for the holy month.
The statement said mosque staff should not "use cameras in mosques to photograph the imam and worshippers while performing prayers, and not to transmit prayers or broadcast them in the media of all kinds."
Rumours soon swirled around on social media about what the statement, which did not make any specific reference to the mosques in Makkah or Madinah, actually meant.
Other advice in the statement raised fears that worshippers were being told to not bring children to the mosques, but that too was clarified by the Ministry, according to Haramain Sharifain.
“A spokesperson for the Ministry said that all children (irrespective of vaccination) can accompany families visiting the Two Holy Mosques. The spokesperson, however, said that for Umrah an individual is required to be 5 and above,” reported the publication.
Meanwhile, earlier this week authorities in Saudi said they will welcome Umrah pilgrims during Ramadan, with around 400,000 expected for the holy month.