Kedah night market traders must pause sales during Maghrib prayers from May 1

Kedah is set to follow in Kelantan’s footsteps by enforcing a ruling to suspend sale transactions at night markets during Maghrib prayers, effective May 1.

(NST) – State Housing, Local Government, and Health Committee chairman Major (R) Mansor Zakaria clarified that non-Muslim traders and night markets organised at non-Muslim places of worship would be exempted from this ruling.

“This enforcement aligns with the decision made during the state executive council meeting on Feb 21. However, it will only affect night market activities organised by local governments and private organisers,” he said during a press conference at the Sungai Petani Municipal Council (MPSPK) building.

Under the ruling, night market traders must halt business transactions 10 minutes before Maghrib prayers and resume between 10 to 15 minutes after the call to prayer (azan).

The aim is to facilitate Muslim traders, workers, and patrons to perform Maghrib prayers comfortably.

Mansor emphasised the importance of educating Muslim traders to prioritise their prayers at the onset of prayer time and to utilise nearby surau or mosques for prayer.

Local councils across Kedah will monitor night markets to ensure compliance and provide necessary guidance to Muslim traders.

Addressing concerns over the ruling’s impact on non-Muslim traders, Mansor clarified that they were not obliged to adhere to it but encouraged them to do so voluntarily.

He stressed that the focus was on education and monitoring, with enforcement actions to be taken only when necessary.

Kelantan previously implemented a similar ruling in 2017, which also exempted non-Muslim traders from its enforcement.