Kuwait mosques amend call to prayer to curb coronavirus

17 Mars, 2020, 14:18 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • All prayers will be held in the open areas of the Aqsa Mosque' Al Aqsa Mosque director Omar Kiswani said

Authorities in Kuwait have temporarily closed mosques and amended the "adhan" or the the Muslim call to prayer, to include the words "pray in your homes", as the country struggles to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

According to Wafa, mosques in the occupied West Bank called Muslims through loudspeakers to perform daily prayers at home rather than in mosques, with the aim of restricting gatherings of people.

"The fatwa removes the need to attend prayers on Friday in mosques, and authorizes having them at home, to protect the people from coronavirus".

Israel's Chief Rabbinate said last week that Jewish worshippers should not come to the Western Wall or pray en masse there.

According to the Palestinian Ma'an news agency, citing the director of the Al Aqsa mosque, Ahmed Omar Kiswani, the Waqf, the Islamic body that manages the Temple Mount compound, made a decision to shut down the halls amid the pandemic and hold all prayers in the courtyard of the Al Aqsa mosque.

Kuwait confirmed 20 new cases in the past 24 hours, reporting a total of 100 to yesterday, state news agency Kuna said. The country has also shuttered schools and universities in an attempt to prevent the virus' spread.

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Meanwhile, authorities continued to take measures in the hope of preempting an acceleration of the disease's spread.

Saudi Arabia also specified it was avoiding immigrants from r eaching the holy city of Capital and the Kaaba, the structure at the centre of the Great Mosque, and specified travel was suspended to Prophet Muhammad's mosque in Medina.

Although the mosque has not been closed, the mataf area surrounding the Kaaba was briefly closed for cleaning. Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, whose Friday sermon from Karbala provides guidance for millions, last week urged people to abide by a ban on mass prayers.

Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock will shut their doors as a precaution against coronavirus, Islamic religious authorities said on Sunday, while outdoor prayers will still be allowed at the complex that houses Islam's third holiest site.

Iran had already cancelled Friday prayers in major cities, amid fears that large gatherings of people at religious sites could be disastrous as Tehran battles one of the worst outbreaks outside of China, where the disease was first recorded.

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