Srinagar - Small gatherings, shortened prayers and at some places no congregations at all – Muslims in Kashmir on Friday took precautionary measures in their religious duty in order to contain the spread of coronavirus in the valley which has so far recorded only a single positive case.
While Friday congregational prayers were offered at several mosques, including the Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area of the city here, many others decided not to hold any gatherings at all.
However, in the mosques where the prayers were offered, the duration of the congregational prayers was shortened and the gatherings were small.
Two prominent organisations – All Jammu and Kashmir Shia Association and Jamiat Ahlihadees – had decided to put on hold the mandatory Friday prayers across Jammu and Kashmir in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
"The All Jammu and Kashmir Shia Association has decided not to hold any public gatherings/ majalis and Friday congregational prayers until further notification," its president Imran Reza Ansari said.
There were no prayers at several imambaras in Shia-dominated areas of the Union Territory.
A spokesperson of the Jamiat Ahlihadees said a meeting of Jamiat leaders was held on Thursday under the chairmanship of president Ghulam Muhammad Al-Madni where it was decided that the Friday prayers will be put on hold in Jammu and Kashmir till March 31 in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision, the spokesman said, was taken according to the teachings and principals of Islam.
Kashmir's Grand Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam said while the people of the valley should wait for collective decision of ulemas, who are meeting on Saturday, only physically fit people must attend Friday prayers in the mosques.
"Sick people and elderly must stay home," he advised.
Patron of Dar-ul-Uloom Raheemiya, an Islamic seminary, Moulana Rehmatullah, also advised imams to restrict Friday sermons and conclude prayers in the shortest possible time.
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