COVID-19: Some mosques in city skip Friday prayers as preventive measure
New Delhi: "There would be no Friday prayers on two consecutive Fridays as a precautionary measure due to the outbreak of Coronavirus," reads the notice at Babul Ilm Mosque at Okhla Vihar in Jamia Nagar popularly known as 'Shia Masjid'. The three-storey mosque which has never skipped a Friday prayer untill March 20, 2020 finally decided to take a break from religious obligation due to the spread of the deadly disease.
"We have taken into consideration, the outbreak of Corona and decided that we would not be holding Friday prayers for two consecutive weeks. In the third week we will analyse the situation and if the situation is favourable we can go ahead with the Friday prayer but if things worsen we might extend the date," said Maulana Iqbal Haider, Imam e Juma, Babul Ilm Mosque in Okhla Vihar.
The move came after positive cases of Coronavirus started making news from India. This prompted the Maulanas and Imams of the Friday prayers to hold a meeting with reputed Muslims of their respective communities to make a decision on postponing the Friday prayers for atleast two weeks or until situation ease. There were reports that the several mosques at various places in Delhi gave Friday prayers a miss.
"I have been going to Panja Shareef mosque at Kashmiri gate for offering Friday prayers. When I visited at the given time, I saw that only a handful of people were there and there was no Friday prayer which is offered in large gathering," said Raunak Ali, a resident of New Jafrabad in Delhi.
Some mosques of Jafrabad also skipped the Friday prayers while some went ahead with it.
"I have been offering Friday prayers since i am good enough to remember. This was the first time I missed the gathering and decided to stay home by myself as a preventive measure," said Naushad Ali, a resident of Seelampur.
There are also several other mosques which skipped Friday prayers, However Jama Masjid in the walled city carried on with the Friday prayer but the number of people were less and several men were seen in masks as they entered the historic mosque.