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Policy change allows grade 6+ students to lead Friday/Eclipse prayers

The Islamic Ministry of Maldives will issue temporary permits to students in sixth grade or higher and to those over the age of 65 under special conditions.

Ameera Osmanagic
11 June 2024, MVT 19:49
[File] Young Khatib Hussain Zain Ali, who led Friday prayer in a Maldivian mosque -- Photo: Fayaz Moosa |Mihaaru
Ameera Osmanagic
11 June 2024, MVT 19:49

A policy change has allowed a temporary permit to be issued for students from grade six onwards to be able to lead Friday and eclipse prayers in the Maldives.

In the policy published by the Islamic Ministry yesterday, students studying in sixth grade or above and those over the age of 65 would be able to receive a temporary permit for the two prayers under special circumstances;

- If there is no one to lead the Friday or eclipse prayers, a temporary permit with its validity not exceeding more than six months can be issued to an individual when relevant authorities apply for the permit.

- A temporary one month permit may be issued to an individual if someone who already holding the permit falls ill.

However, permits in these circumstances will only be issued for individuals over the age of 65 if they are physically fit to carry out the duties.

A temporary permit may also be issued to students in sixth grade or higher for the purpose of training them to recite the Quran fluently and learn the rules of prayer.

Additionally, students between grades 10 and 12, or a minor below the age of 18 who has completed their schooling, will also be required to score above 75 percent marks in an oral exam. Alternatively, they will be granted the Friday and eclipse prayer permit if they complete the Khatib course (a person who delivers the sermon during special Islamic prayers) and achieve the ten percent marks allocated for the training.

They will also receive 10 percent marks if they have completed a secondary or higher secondary level certificate in an Imam (a person who leads Muslims in prayer) course.

However, a permit to lead these two prayers at King Salman mosque will only be granted with a minimum degree level certificate in religious discipline.

The tests for those living in Malé will be administered by the Islamic Ministry directly, while those living in the island would be required to attend their local council offices and either take an online exam or one administered in a format determined by the Islamic Ministry.

If an applicant fails the exam, they will only be able to take the exam once more within a three month period.

Those who hold permits will be included in a pool of Imams, which will be coordinated by local councils and the Islamic Ministry.