Al-Azhar Ulema issue fatwa banning congregational prayers

7

STAFF REPORT

ISLAMABD

The Supreme Ulema Council (SUC) of Egypt’s Al-Azhar University has issued a fatwa, banning all congregational prayers at mosques to stem the spread of coronavirus outbreak.

Pakistan’s President Dr ArifAlvi had requested the supreme council to issue a guideline for Muslims around the world over precautionary measures while performing religious obligations, Radio Pakistan reported on Wednesday.

The fatwa, a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognised authority, further states that all public gatherings, including congregational prayers, can speed up the spread of the deadly disease. Hence, government officials in Muslim countries have the authority to cancel congregational and Friday prayers, it adds.

Top Pakistani clerics hailing from different school of thoughts on Wednesday sit together to urge masses to adopt preventive measures aimed at tackling the spread of coronavirus as its tally crossed 1000 today.

Addressing a joint presser at Governor House in Karachi, renowned religious scholar Mufti TaqiUsmani said that they have approached various ulemas via telephone to develop a consensus over a joint strategy to combat the virus.

If preventive measures are not taken then this pandemic could affect many people, he said adding that it’s time to pray before the Almighty Allah for forgiveness of their sins.

He said that all clerics have agreed upon a joint strategy calling for adopting preventive measures as it could put brakes to the spread of the infection.

Speaking on the occasion, Ruet-i-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman said that minor children, people infected with coronavirus and those taking care of them could offer their prayers at home.

Even collective prayer could be offered with a woman relative at home, he said and urged people aging above 50 to avoid coming to the mosques during the time of pandemic.

He also asked the prayer leaders to remove carpets from the mosques and offer prayers on plain floor after proper cleaning process in order to avoid any contact with the virus.