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Coronavirus | Mosques in Kashmir educate their congregation on COVID-19 protocol

Muslim devotees offer Friday noon prayer outside a mosque during their holy fasting month of Ramadan in Srinagar on April 23, 2021. du.   | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

At the customary Friday sermons in mosques in the Kashmir valley, the focus now is on educating devotees on COVID-19-appropriate behaviour. Special prayers were also held for the victims. Jammu & Kashmir recorded its the highest ever 19 COVID-19 deaths in a single day in the past 24 hours.

Khursheed Anzar, an imam (priest) of a mosque in Lal Bazaar, said the Friday sermons usually revolve around moral and Islamic education imparted by the Quran and the prophets. “But we decided to restrict the sermons to the pandemic by educating people on avoiding large gatherings, maintaining distance, and wearing masks,” Mr. Anzar said.

Scores of mosques made an announcement on Friday, warning the elderly and ailing to avoid attending congregational prayers in mosques in a part of Srinagar city.

“We are aware of the potential threat religious congregations pose. We need to do more to ensure a discipline is created so that no mosque becomes a spreader [of the coronavirus]. We also prayed for the victims of the pandemic,” Khalid Shaheed, another imam from Rajouri Kadal said.

Deputy Commissioners held meetings with religious leaders in Shopian, Kupwara and Srinagar to rope in the support of mosques in tackling the pandemic.

“Religious leaders, imams, khateebs, auqaf members and masjid committees have a key role in the battle against a fresh wave of COVID-19 in order to bring about a conscientious behavioural change with regard to the importance of wearing masks, maintaining hygiene and social distancing,” Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Mohammed Aijaz Asad, said.

Syed Masood, Medical Superintendent of the Government Medical College Hospital, Baramulla, asked all masjid (mosque) and mohalla (locality) committees to arrange oxygen facilities.

“A disastrous wave is on its way. This little time should be used to build these small domiciliary facilities. which will help the [healthcare] system from overloading,” Dr. Masood said.

An official said 1,937 new cases had been detected, with Jammu district recording the highest number of 525 cases. There are 16,993 active coronavirus cases in J&K, officials said.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 3:31:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-mosques-in-kashmir-educate-their-congregation-on-covid-19-protocol/article34395348.ece

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