Source: Erem News

The use of megaphones outside of adhan (Muslim call to prayer) recently divided clerics in Saudi Arabia, with many taking a stance against it. 

The issue comes up every year in the weeks leading up to the holy month of Ramadan as religious sermons are held daily nationwide. 

Saudi scholar Ahmad bin Qasem Al Ghamdi is one of the religious leaders deeming the phenomenon "unrelated to the teachings of Islam." On Saturday, the cleric took part in a televised debate over the matter during an appearance on Rotana Khalijiya's Ya Hala program. 

During the show, he criticized the use of megaphones in mosques during Friday prayers and other religious functions. This statement in particular has stirred up controversy on Saudi Twitter.

"I believe this phenomenon defames our religion because people are being harmed by it. When prayers are loudly aired through megaphones at mosques that are at times very close to one another, it's very disruptive," he said.

"In addition to that, there's a Quranic verse stating that people must be attentive when prayers are being read out. So when you air prayers out loud to people who are rushing to work or busy with something, you're putting them in a difficult situation because they can't focus on the prayer even if they want to," he added.

During his address, Al Ghamdi stressed that using megaphones at mosques for anything other than the call to prayer isn't related to any known Islamic rules. 

Al Ghamdi's statement left Saudis divided

Though he wasn't the only scholar who voiced out a similar opinion on the show, his statement in particular caught the attention of Saudi Twitter users.

Many sided with the cleric, while others deemed his criticism uncalled for.

"He's 100 percent right"

"It's truly annoying and disruptive"

"This is what rationality sounds like"

However, others were outraged by Al Ghamdi's statement

"So now the sound of prayer is harmful? And disruptive!!?"

"Since when is prayer and adhan disruptive?"

"This is the country of Islam, and prayer is a source of peace and security." 

"We're happy with the loud sound, what's it to you?"

"They left everything and focused on mosques and adhan. I am OK with hearing adhan and prayers 24/7. They make me feel calm and peaceful."