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Morocco clarifies : Standardization of Friday sermons not mandatory amid criticism

After a wave of controversy over the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs' decision to standardize Friday sermons, the Supreme Council of Ulemas has confirmed that the standardized sermon will not be mandatory.

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Morocco has decided to standardize Friday sermons, a move that has sparked controversy. The Supreme Council of Ulemas announced that it will «propose the upcoming Friday sermon to imams every Wednesday at 2 pm for those who wish to adopt it».

These sermons will be available on the website of the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs and its social media pages, as well as on the pages of regional and local scientific councils.

A source who attended the 31st ordinary session of the Supreme Council of Ulemas, held Friday in Rabat, told Yabladi that the topic was discussed, emphasizing that there is no «mandatory» requirement for imams to adopt the standardized sermons, which has been a major point of contention.

«There will be a standardized sermon, but imams are not obliged to use it; they have the option to deliver another sermon», the source explained. He added that while sermons for national occasions and special days will be unified, local events may require the preacher to address specific regional topics.

Standardized sermon will not be mandatory

Critics of the decision argue that it reduces the role of preachers and imams to merely reading written sermons, preventing them from addressing current issues. Supporters believe that standardizing sermons will improve their quality and consistency.

The Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs stated that the goal of standardizing sermons is to improve public morality and involve religious leaders in promoting righteousness, charity, and goodness. The Ministry emphasized that preachers would continue to have freedom and responsibility in delivering their sermons and noted that the standardization order is temporary.

Previously, the Ministry's delegation in Tangier dismissed the preacher of the Grand Minbar Mosque for «pushing the sermon into narrow sensitivities» after he expressed his opposition to the unification decision in his sermon on June 28, 2024.

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