Mass prayers to continue in mosques across Pakistan: clerics

All the mosques in Pakistan will remain opened and the mandatory five-time and Friday prayers will be offered there, Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman announced Wednesday.

A meeting of prominent religious clerics from all school of thoughts was held in Karachi, where they discussed various issues relating to the coronavirus pandemic. Rehman read out a joint statement before the media at the end of the meeting.

“All the people [should] perform ablution at home,” he said. “The sunnahs before and after [the Farz prayers] should be offered at home.”

The announcement came as the death toll from the virus rose to eight, with over 1,000 infected all over Pakistan. The situation prompted provincial governments to close schools, markets, restaurants and other public places.

Many countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, have already suspended mass prayers. In Pakistan, many prominent personalities, including President Arif Alvi, had urged the clerics to suspend them too.

Mufti Muneeb, however, urged prayer leaders to stop making Urdu speeches on Fridays and keep their sermons short.

He advised people to take precautionary measures to protect themselves from the virus. “Remove the carpets from mosques and wash the floors,” the cleric said, adding that hand sanitizers should be installed at the entrances of mosques.

Those suffering from the virus, having cough or fever should not come to mosques, Muneeb said. People above 50 years of age should also offer prayers at home, he added.

Mufti Taqi Usmani, another prominent cleric, said that it was obligatory for every Muslim to take precautionary measures against the virus.

He said that people needed to consult Allah and apologize for their sins.

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