Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board has announced suspension of Eid prayers at the masjids and shrines affiliated to it in the summer capital as a preventive measure to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
A senior official of Board said that the decision was taken after threadbare discussion with Islamic scholars. The Eid-ul-Adha is being celebrated across J&K on Wednesday, 21 July, this year.
Most of the major Shrines including revered DargahHazratbal, Dastigeer Sahib (RA) shrine, Makdoom Sahib (RA) Shrine, Khanqah-e-Molla and others are situated in Srinagar. These are managed by J&K Muslim Wakf Board. Eid prayers would not be held at these shrines.
"After threadbare discussion, it was decided that masjids and shrines shall remain temporarily closed for large gathering and Eid prayers will not be offered in view of pandemic," said a Wakf Board official.
The Islamic scholars in Kashmir have urged the people to refrain from organizing large gatherings, and advised the Imams to deliver brief sermons on Eid 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.
The religious places had reopened in August 2020 after remaining closed for around five months due to COVID19. They were again closed after second wave of virus hit Jammu and Kashmir.
The local religious places in localities are open where the number of worshipers’ remains restricted as per protocol and COVID19 safety guidelines are followed in letter and spirit. Islamic scholars had also appealed people not to hold any large congregational prayers in the wake of pandemic.
The Friday congregational prayers have also remained suspended at major shrines and Masjids in Srinagar as a precautionary measure to contain COVID19.
On 30 April, the Wakf Board had announced suspension of regular prayers for the time being at the masjids and shrines affiliated to it in view of coronavirus. The decision had been taken after threadbare discussion with the Islamic scholars.
This year, large congregational prayers on the occasion of Shab-e-Qadr, Jumat-ul-Vida and Eid-ul-Adha remain suspended.
The large gatherings at other religious places including GurudwaraChatipadshahi at Rainawari, Roman Catholic Church and Family Catholic Church, also located in Srinagar city, have remained suspended in view of the pandemic second wave and prediction of third wave of virus.