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Pak president urges religious scholars to stop congregational prayers to stem coronavirus spread

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

PakistanPresidentArifAlvihasurgedreligiousscholarstostopallcongregationalprayerstostemthespreadofthenovelcoronavirus,whichhasinfectedover1,100peopleinthecountry.

Themovecamefollowinga'fatwa'(edict)issuedonWednesdaybytheGrandImamShaikhofJamiaAlAzharandtheSupremeCouncilinEgypt,sayingthatheadofthestateisempoweredtostopcollectiveprayersinthecurrentsituation.

Soonafterthe'fatwa'wasissued,PresidentAlvionWednesdayapproachedreligiousleadersforguidanceandsaidtheyshouldactaspertheprinciplesofIslamfromQuranandSunnah,TheNewsreported.

Urgingthescholarstohaltallcongregationalprayers,hecitedtheexamplesoftheotherIslamicnations,whichhavealreadytakenthestep.

"CountriesthathavestoppedcongregationalprayersareUAE,Saudi,Iran,Algeria,Tunisia,Jordan,Kuwait,Palestine,Turkey,Syria,LebanonandEgypt,"Alvisaid.

The"governmentofacountrycanimposeabanoncongregationalprayers,includingregularandFridayprayers,andhaltgatheringsacrossthecountry,"readthefatwa.

Iturgedelderlypeopletostayindoorsandnotpartakeinprayersas"thesegatheringsareareasonforthespreadofthevirus".

Thefatwaalsoquotedthe'hadith'(sayingsoftheProphet),whereitstatedthatduringnaturalcalamities,Muslimsshouldprayinsidetheirhomes.

"Thecoronavirusismoredangerousthanrain,therefore,abancanbeplacedoncongregationalprayers,"the'fatwa'read.

Pakistanhasbeenfacingarapidriseinthecoronaviruscases,withthetallyshootingpast1,100onThursday.

InseveralArabcountries,the'azaan'(callforprayer)hasbeenamendedandnowiturgespeopletoprayintheirhomes.

MuftiMuneeburRehman,prominentPakistaniMuslimscholarandthechairmanofRuet-e-HilalCommittee,hashowever,rejectedthefatwa,sayingthatmosqueswillremainopenandprayersincongregationwillbecontinued.

Hewasjoinedbyseveralotherclericswhohavebeenresistingeffortstobancongregations,sayingitposesathreattothecommunity.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 26 2020. 13:40 IST
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