Govt lifts restriction on offering prayers at mosques
After one month of restrictions amid coronavirus outbreak, the government has decided to allow people to offer prayers, including Tarabi, at mosques from Thursday’s Zohr prayers subject to following health guidelines. The Ministry of Religious Affairs issued a notification in this regard on Wednesday. As per the notification, people will be allowed to offer prayers in jamaat at mosques upon fulfilling the following conditions:
Carpet use on mosques floors will not be allowed and mosques authorities will have to clean the mosques with disinfectants before every prayer. Besides, all devotees have to carry their own Jainamaz (prayer mats) while Sunnat prayers have to be offered at their respective homes. People have to enter mosques wearing masks and there must be arrangements of hand washing with soap/hand sanitisers at the entrances of the mosques.
Besides, devotees must maintain a 3-foot distance while offering prayers. Sick, elderly people and children will not be allowed to come to mosques. No iftar or seheri will be allowed to be arranged inside mosques. According to the notification, Imams, Khatib and mosque management committees will take steps to fulfill the above conditions and the local administration and law enforcement agencies will take legal steps against those to be found responsible in the case of violation of the rules.
Earlier on April 6, the ministry directed all to avoid mosques and offer prayers at home to prevent the transmission of fast-spreading coronavirus or COVID-19. It asked people to offer Zohr prayers at home instead of Jum’a on Friday. It also asked the people of other religions to offer prayers at home instead of congregation at religious institutions. Meanwhile, the ministry decided on April 23 that only 10 Muslim devotees and two imams would be allowed to offer Tarabi prayers at mosques during the holy month of Ramadan.