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In the late 1970s I, with some of my friends who were interested in the hotel sector in Kuwait, was on a business and tourism trip to Jordan.
After dinner we returned to the lobby of the Continental Hotel where we were staying, I asked my companions to consider for a moment the paradox of the prayer-times board which was put up high above the reception desk. I told them that the height of the board means the need for a ladder for the employee to change the prayer times daily.
It drew their attention to the following message that was written under the timings board. This message did not change because it was placed in fixed letter ‘Prayer service every Sunday 9-11 am’.
Because those with me were concerned about the cost of building and operating hotels, they thought about the space to keep the metal ladder in the hotel lobby and the salary of the employee who changes the prayer timings.
From the experiences of people, and to which religion they belong, it is clear that increasing the religious dose does not create better societies. The formation of a normal person and a good citizen is never by immersing him in religious issues and making him subservient. The goal of the state is not to create a religious citizen, rather create an educated citizen capable of production, and pay taxes to the state, without which it cannot continue to provide its services with the exception of 4 or 5 of this rule the whole world. Therefore, any cessation of manual, intellectual, industrial or agricultural work means the loss of tens of millions of precious working hours.
That is why many were interested in the positive consequences of Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow shops, factories and hundreds of thousands of businesses to continue operating during prayer times, and those who wish to perform them must do so without disrupting work, which is also considered a rule of worship.
This or that rentier state may continue to afford the luxury of not disrupting business for long hours, as long as the oil wells continue to pump millions of barrels of oil per day but can it continue to do so forever? So why don’t we prepare for that day instead of being surprised by circumstances?
A few days ago, Al Arabiya TV hosted the Egyptian preacher ‘Amr Khaled’. The host embarrassed his guest when he asked him why he accepted the invitation to appear in a ridiculous commercial in which he mentioned that eating ‘chicken’ of a specific brand helps to acquire higher degree of spirituality?
Amr Khaled was reckless in his reply and said he did it for money. This means in the morning he promotes the chicken in a vague commercial so that he can, with the money he earned from the advertisement, guide people in the evening.
This is similar to what some political Islam associations do while running dozens of charities and deduct high percentages from each donation, and keep them for themselves under the pretext that money is for guiding and helping people.
By Ahmad alsarraf