Srinagar, Jan 14: In wake of surge in the COVID-19 cases, Khateebs across Kashmir on Friday urged people to follow safety measures and pray for an end to the pandemic.
The people across Kashmir prayed not only for the Muslim world but the entire humanity which is combating the viral disease. They said that they prayed for an atmosphere of peace and health across the world.
“We urged people to refrain from organising events which require large gatherings. We also urged Imams to deliver brief Arabic sermon during Friday congregations and seek Almighty’s refuge from the coronavirus outbreak,” said one of Khateebs, who delivered Friday sermon in Bemina area of Srinagar.
Another Khateeb who delivered Friday sermon in Sangerhama area of Sopore said that they urged the people to offer Sunnah and Nawafil prayers at home, and leave the Masjid shortly after Fardh (obligatory) prayers.
“We requested elderly and sick people to stay home and pray there instead of coming to mosques,” the Khateeb said, adding that they urged the people to avoid greeting other people with handshakes and hugs. “We requested the people to wash hands before entering and leaving the masjids,” said another Khateeb of a Jamia Masjid in Budgam adding that they were also urged not to enter mosques without wearing masks.
Abdul Ahad Dar, a Drugmulla Kupwara resident, said that in their Masjid, before the Farz prayers, the Imam Sahab ensured that everybody was wearing a facemask and maintaining social distance with the others. "Nobody enters the Masjid without a facemask and everybody maintains social distance," he said.
“It was part of our guidelines to keep ourselves safe and ensure the safety of other members, keeping the need of the times in mind,” he added.
Officials here said that there were no reports of violations during the prayers and other religious gatherings in Kashmir.
"The administration in their respective areas in the districts is in constant touch with the religious heads," a senior official of the Divisional Administration said. "There are no violation of SOPs."
It needs to be mentioned here that Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, recently held a virtual meeting with religious leaders and preachers, including Imams, Khateebs and Ulemas of Masjids and Shrines of the Waqf Board regarding reinforcement of COVID-19 guidelines at religious places besides creating mass awareness among people.
The Divisional Commissioner had reminded the leaders about their religious and social responsibilities to play a better role in educating people by reiterating the COVID precautionary messages frequently on loud speakers besides strictly enforcing physical distancing, wearing of masks, use of sanitisers, avoiding physical contacts and discouraging crowds.
The Divisional Commissioner also asked them to use electronic and social media for the purpose.