Mufti Taqi Usmani welcomes agreement on prayers during Ramazan

KARACHI: Religious scholar Mufti Taqi Usmani on Sunday welcomed the decision on the opening of mosques for prayers and Taraweeh during the holy month of Ramazan. In a statement on Twitter, Mufti Usmani said he was happy that appropriate procedure regarding mosques has been decided. “It is now the responsibility of the mosque and its administration to make sure SOPs put in place are followed in letter and spirit,” he said. His statement comes after President Arif Alvi met with ulema and announced that mosques would remain open for Taraweeh prayers and had urged citizens and religious leaders alike to exercise discipline and take precautions against the coronavirus pandemic when coming to mosques. The World Health Organisation has also suggested the same, he added. Mufti Taqi urged all the religious scholars and mosque administrations that all the SOPs must be ensured and if they failed to do so, they would be responsible for the damage. 20-point agreement The following are the 20 points agreed upon during the meeting: 1. No carpets or dariyaan (mats) to be laid down in mosques because the virus is airborne. Clean floors for prayers must be ensured. 2. If people want to bring prayer mats from home they may do so. 3. No gatherings after namaz/tarawih will be permitted. 4. If a mosque has an open area/garden it is preferable to conduct prayers there. 5. People over 50 years of age, children should not be allowed in mosques. 6. Everyone must follow the instructions of social distancing by WHO and other health experts. 7. Tarawih should not be conducted on roads, footpaths and anywhere else than the mosque premises. 8. People should continue to keep observing regular prayers at home. 9. Masjid, Imambargah floors should be washed with chlorinated water regularly. 10. There should be a six-feet distance during congregational prayers/ 11. The mosque should form committees to ensure that people are abiding by the rules and decided SOPs. 12. Markers should be made on the floors of mosques and Imambargahs to guide people about the distance they should keep from others. 13. People should do ablution at home. 14. People must wear face masks when coming to mosques and maintain physical distance. 15. People must avoid handshakes. 16. Itikaf must be observed at home. 17. No one must prepare or hold Sehri and Iftaar in mosques. 18. Mosque committees should be in constant contact with the provincial government. 19. Mosques committees are allowed to conduct tarawih under these SOPs. 20. If during Ramazan, government authorities feel that the situation has got out of control and the number of cases surge, the authorities can review the decisions taken.