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Uniform prayer timings issued

Uniform prayer timings issued

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Religious Affairs, in consultation with clerics from four mainstream Islamic sects, has issued uniform prayer timings for the whole year.

The summer timings calendar was released in May 2015, and with the addition of winter timings, the annual calendar for all five prayer timings was issued on Thursday.

Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Mohammad Yousuf said that most mosques in Islamabad have been following the uniform timings for seven months.

“This is a success of the policy to develop coherence among all Muslims,” he said.

The ministry had established a Nizam-e-Salat committee, comprising ulema from the Barelvi, Shia, Ahle Hadith and Deobandi sects and officials from the ministry.

He said the ‘Nizam-e-Salat’ had been implemented on a voluntary basis, and the model had been acknowledged by the city’s residents.

Cleric Allama Abdul Aziz Hanif, of the Ahle Hadith sect, said: “All sects have conceded some space to adjust to the uniform timings, and this spirit of cooperation is needed in society.”

Some clerics have also asked that the government ensure that markets are shut during prayer timings. This was rejected by religious leaders and government officials, who insisted it was an individual issue.

Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2015

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