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Sharia judges, professors to cover for shortage of imams in Irbid

By JT - Jun 02,2015 - Last updated at Jun 02,2015

AMMAN — The Irbid Awqaf Department is planning to contract Sharia judges and professors to work as imams at the northern governorate’s some 100 mosques, Abdulsalam Nseirat, deputy awqaf director said Tuesday. 

The decision was taken in light of a shortage in imams and as part of preparations for Ramadan under the “taraweeh Imam” system, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, quoted Nseirat as saying. 

Taraweeh are special evening prayers in Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, which is expected to start later this month. Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset during the fasting month.

Some 80 teachers, appointed by the department, will give religion lessons at the prayer times in Ramadan, Nseirat said, noting that the selection process took into account the moderate teachings of Islam, away from extremism or radicalism.

The country is short of male Sharia (Islamic law) graduates, and the government has announced 500 vacancies at the Kingdom’s mosques, with a number of selected applicants to be appointed in Irbid, the official said, according to Petra.

Mosques, he noted, require strict observation during Ramadan to ensure they are not abused by extremists, especially because a large number of worshippers are there for the five prayers and religion lessons.

In October 2014, the Awqaf Ministry banned four clerics for encouraging citizens to support Daesh during Friday sermons.

 

Eyewitnesses said the four imams urged citizens to “come to the aid” of the Daesh terror group, in direct violation of the Preaching and Guidance Law, which forbids speech of political, sectarian and extremist nature in Friday sermons.

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