Mosques in capital to implement social distancing in prayers

July 31, 2020: Eid Al-Adha prayers. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The Islamic Ministry of the Maldives has instructed congregational prayers in the capital of Maldives, Male' City to be performed with social distancing. 

In a statement issued by the Ministry, Imams were instructed to perform the congregational prayers with social distancing due to the serious situation with COVID-19 in the capital. 

The decision comes after discussions with religious scholars and the Fatwa Council of the Maldives and will remain in place until the situation in the capital lightened, read the announcement. 

The decision was made because the closure of mosques would bring a lot of sorrow to the public and normal prayers will be performed once the situation eases, read the statement. 

The announcement also stated things to pay attention for the City Council, Imams, and worshipers attending the mosque as well. 

City Council of Male' is to ensure that carpets in all mosques in the capital are removed and that after each prayer, mosques are mopped and cleaned thoroughly. Handwashing with soap is also to be arranged at all mosques and air condition use is to be ceased unless necessary with the right ventilation from time to time.

Attendees to the mosque are also requested to perform the ablution for the prayers at home, take their own prayer mats and pray on the mats. Worshippers are also requested to wear masks and maintain social distancing at all times. Individuals with lung complications or are feverish or sick, are to refrain from attending mosques.

Elderly people and people with coughs or cold are also to refrain from attending the mosque and are asked to pray at home. Attendees are also requested against staying at mosques after prayers and are also advised against shaking hands with each other. Attendees are also advised against using Quran books inside the mosque. 

Imams are instructed to perform the prayers with five minutes of the prayer call. Prayers are to be kept short and concluded within seven minutes. Imams are also instructed to recite short Surahs. 

The measures are to be implemented starting from today.