Covid-19: Karnataka government urges to suspend congregational prayers in Masjids till March 31

Source: S.O. News Service | By Sajjad Quazi | Published on 23rd March 2020, 11:31 PM | Coastal News |

Bhatkal: Various measures are being taken by the state government to curb the rapidly spreading Coronavirus outbreak in Karnataka, with the main aim being to prevent people from gathering and interacting directly with each other.

In a fresh step in this regard, according to the circular issued by the Minority Welfare Department, Uttara Kannada Deputy Commissioner, Dr Harish Kumar, on Monday directed all the Masjids across the District to call off Friday's weekly prayers along with all the five daily congregational prayers till March 31.

The circular issued by A B Ibrahim (IAS), Secretary, Minority Welfare Department of Karnataka Government, states that all sections of the society, in the interest of public health at the moment, should support government initiatives undertaken to curb the rapidly spreading deadly virus. As the outbreak is spreading through social contact and the presence of the disease has been proven to be present among those returning from overseas, it is important to keep people away from the mob.

It is known that congregational prayers are being offered in all Masjids and large gathering during Friday prayers, Muslims have to stand side-by-side touching shoulder to shoulder while offering prayer and greet each other by shaking hands after the prayers. AC/Coolers are regularly in use during summer in Masjids, which may increase the effect of the disease, the circular mentioned.

In order to avoid the spread of COVlD-l9 and to protect public health, congregational prayers including those offered on Friday have been suspended across all mosques in UAE, Saudi Arabia and most of the Islamic countries. Prayers in Holy Masjid of Makkah and Madeena are also suspended from early March.

In the backdrop of these situations, the Minority Welfare Department had wide range of discussions with religious scholars, Chairman of Karnataka Awqaf Board, and Community leaders. Both Quazis of Mangaluru have also advised the believes to pray at Home only.

Hence, Under the Disaster Management Act and the Criminal Procedure Code, it has been ordered that congregation prayers be banned in all Masjids till March 31, including Friday prayers.

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