Sunnis partially suspend congregational prayers
MUMBAI: Under pressure from the administration and a section of community leaders to comply with health guidelines in view of coronavirus spread, the Sunnis have partially suspended their congregational prayers at mosques.
According to the arrangement made in many mosques, the muezzins’ call for namaz is immediately followed by an announcement asking people to pray at home. The imam, muezzin and a few locals offer namaz at the mosque. “Most of the muftis (those who issue fatwas) endorsed my suggestion that congregational prayers should be suspended and just a few people should offer daily namaz at the mosques,” said Maulana Mahmood Daryabadi of All India Ulema Council.
On Saturday night, Maulana Daryabadi took the lead in consulting a number of senior muftis, including Mufti Azeezur Rahman Fatehpuri, held in high regard in the community, and sought their opinions on whether congregational prayers can be suspended. The muftis agreed that human life should not be endangered and gatherings should be avoided.
Mufti Ashraf Raza Qadri of Idara Sharia (Maharashtra) also said that, except the imam, muezzin and a few locals, the rest should pray at home.
Meanwhile, in a strongly-worded open letter, former vice-chairman of the state minority commission, Abraham Mathai, said heeding to the pleas of experts and their own community leaders, Sunnis should suspend congregational prayers at mosques.
In Nalasopara, former deputy mayor of Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation, Sagheer Dange, said most of the mosques in Nalasopara had stopped amplifying the ‘azaan’ through microphones to avoid a rush to the mosques for daily prayers. “Just a few people offer prayers at mosques. We are complying with guidelines as it is important to avoid gatherings to check the spread of coronavirus,” said Dange.
Maulana Khalilur Rahman Noorie, imam of a mosque in Andheri, said the number of worshippers at mosques had reduced substantially.
Courtesy : TNN