RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars (CSS), urged Muslims worldwide to pray at home during Ramazan if their countries require social distancing to curb the spread of the coronavirus, state news agency SPA reported on Sunday.
The holy fasting month of Ramazan begins later this week. During the month, Muslims across the world break their fast with families and perform an evening prayer, known as Taraweeh, in large gatherings at mosques.
“Muslims shall avoid gatherings because they are the main cause of the spread of infection […] and shall remember that preserving the lives of people is a great act that brings them closer to God,” it said in a statement.
Earlier on Friday, the Kingdom’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, also the head of the CSS, expressed the same sentiment, saying that Muslim prayers during Ramazan and for the subsequent Eidul Fitr feast should be performed at home if the coronavirus outbreak continues.
Yesterday, Pakistan’s government granted conditional permission to hold congregational prayers – including Friday prayers and Taraweeh – during Ramzan after a consensus was reached between the government and clerics.
Announcing that neither the state machinery nor clerics would stop citizens from visiting mosques, the government issued a 20-point agreement that included all the rules and regulations residents and mosque management are obliged to follow as a precautionary measure during the period.
Separately, Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri announced all traditions related to mosques and Imambargahs would be followed during Ramazan as per the demand of clerics.
“The prime minister has advised all the provincial governments and the district administrations to refrain from any action that may lower the stature of clerics or use of force as it creates a bad image of the country,” he had said.