Unprecedented! Mosques wear deserted look on Friday as clerics appeal to stay at home

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Published: March 27, 2020 4:29 PM

Not only mosques, temples and churches and other religious places have been closed for devotees in the light of 21-day lockdown imposed by the government to battle coronavirus.

Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid closed for devotees due to coronavirus outbreak. (ANI Photo)

The coronavirus outbreak has not only disrupted the economic activities but also dampened the festivities and religious gatherings at all shrines across the length and breadth of the country. Friday being a sacred day for Muslims, the mosques at every nook and corner were expected to be heavily crowded for prayers. But appeals made by Muslim clerics yielded results and mosques wore a deserted look as hardly anyone turned up to offer prayers in view of the lockdown imposed in different parts of the country.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board and clerics on Thursday issued appeals to the Muslims to avoid gathering in large numbers for prayers and offer the prayers at their home. Announcements were made through local mosques at various locations across the country, appealing to Muslims not to gather at mosques for the weekly prayers.

The Hyderabad-based Mecca Masjid remain closed today for devotees due to fear of rising coronavirus cases. As a result, the area and market surrounding the mosque wore a deserted look.

In Srinagar as well, mosques remained closed on Friday to encourage people to remain indoors. City clerics have made an appeal to all the people to offer prayers at their houses.

Similar scenes were seen at Delhi’s Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India. The entire market around the mosque wore a deserted look as people preferred to stay indoors and offer Friday prayers in their home. News agency ANI reported that women of Lal Kuan in Chandni Chowk area offered prayers at their home while practising social distancing.

Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, today made an appeal not to congregate and advised devotees to offer the Juma namaz at home. “Five people are sufficient to offer namaz in a mosque. These should be the people who are engaged to keep the mosque clean. No outsider should come to the mosque. Your prayers would be accepted even if you offer Juma from home,” he said.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shahnawaz Hussain also offered Friday prayers at his residence.

Not only mosques, temples and churches and other religious places have been closed for devotees in the light of 21-day lockdown imposed by the government to battle the virus that has claimed 17 lives and infected nearly 700 people in the country.

The Home ministry’s guidelines issued ahead of the lockdown which came into effect at midnight March 25 barred all religious gatherings during the 21-day period.

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