The President's Office has said an Imam who delivered the Friday sermon in the Addu dialect was suspended for altering the Friday sermon approved by the Islamic Ministry.
Local newspapers on Tuesday reported that Imam Mohamed Rasheed, who leads the prayers at southernmost Addu City, Meedhoo's Masjid Al-Majduddin, was suspended for using the Addu dialect in delivering his sermon.
The President's Office said in a statement that Addu City's Sermon Committee has decided not to allow Mohamed Rasheed to lead Friday prayers until an investigation is completed on why he altered the Friday sermon pre-approved by the Islamic Ministry.
The Islamic Ministry has forbidden Imams to bring alterations to the sermons approved by the ministry. The President's Office said Addu City's Sermon Committee is expected to conclude their investigation and forward their report on the matter sometime today.
"More than Addu dialect being used to deliver the sermon, the issue being investigated by the Sermon Committee is altering the approved sermon contrary to the rules and regulations. It is prohibited. If the preachers themselves bring amendments to the approved Friday sermon, the outcome may not be good," the President's Office's statement said.
Imam Mohamed Rasheed told some media that it is important to preach in a dialect known to many people as most of the people who come to the mosque are people of Addu City and foreigners. He said the sermon sent by the Islamic Ministry had not been changed in any way, except changing the dialect used to deliver it.
Some people have expressed their dissatisfaction on social media over the suspension of the Imam. While the people of Addu City use the Addu dialect, it is better to deliver the sermon using the local dialect, they said.