Prayers to remain temporarily suspended: Wakf Board

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The Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board on Friday announced suspension of regular prayers for time being at the mosques and shrines affiliated to it in Kashmir as a preventive measure to contain the spread of coronavirus. Chief Executive Officer, Mufti Fareed-u-Din, said that the decision was taken after threadbare discussion with Islamic scholars.

The Wakf CEO said the meeting prayed for the safety of humanity. “We prayed for well being of people across the world,” he said.

“After threadbare discussion, it was decided that mosques and shrines shall remain temporarily shut for the five daily prayers as well as the weekly Friday prayers,” he said.

“No Friday congregational or regular prayers were offered today at Hazratbal,” he said.

The Islamic scholars in Kashmir have urged the people to refrain from organising large gatherings, and advised the Imams to deliver brief sermons on Friday and seek Almighty’s refuge from the coronavirus outbreak.

The local Masjid Committees in respective areas have also urged worshippers to perform ablution at home and follow advisories by the administration in letter and spirit.

The worshippers have been asked to wash hands before entering and leaving the mosques and shrines.

“The concerned authorities must ensure that all the religious sites and the places where religious congregations are held are sanitized on regular basis,” they said.

In view of the spurt in covid19, the Anjuman Auqaf, Jamia Masjid (AAJM) has already announced suspension of all congregational prayers at Kashmir’s grand masjid for some time.

The AAJM in a statement here today said that the step has been taken for the safety of devotees even as all SOPs were being strictly adhered to during prayers at the masjid.

The religious places had reopened in August 2020 after remaining closed for around five months due to COVID19.

Authorities had announced closure of all mosques and shrines in J&K in view of the outbreak of COVID19 in March 2020. Later, Islamic scholars had also appealed people not to hold any congregational prayers in the wake of pandemic.