India

Muslim clerics ask community to avoid going to mosques

Lucknow, March 19 (IANS) Muslim clerics have issued a special advisory for the community, asking them to avoid going to mosques for Friday prayers and offer ‘namaaz' in their homes or in small groups.

The advisory, issued on Wednesday evening, was shared with the media and also asked children and the elderly to not visit mosques for prayers till the coronavirus scare ebbs and to pray in their homes.

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Those with flu symptoms, including cough and cold and fever, have also been asked to pray at home instead of mosques.

Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali, Imam of Eidgah, who chaired a meeting of several clerics on Wednesday evening, said, “Imams of the various mosques have also been requested to keep the Khutba (speech) delivered before or after the Friday prayers, short so that the time spent outside of the house and within the mosque is reduced. There will also be special prayers held in the mosques for eradication of the contagious disease and for health of all people in the world.”

The cleric has also requested mosques not to hold community programmes or seminars within their premises for the time being, as a precautionary measure.

Apart from the directives to the Imams, mosques and devotees, the cleric also held a meeting with heads from other religions, including the Gurudwara Prabhandak committee chief R. S. Bagga and Father Donald from the Catholic Diocese of Lucknow and representatives of the Sindhi, Jain and Hindu communities.

In a memorandum signed by all the religious leaders, members expressed concern over the cases of COVID-19, and also asked people not to be fearful of the virus but to fight it by taking preventive measures of hygiene and protocols set up by the government.

–IANS

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