HYDERABAD: In a first, Mecca Masjid and several other mosques were closed for devotees for Friday prayers in the city. The gates of mosques were closed and notices were hung urging the devotees to maintain social distance and pray at home amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
This was after appeals were made by Muslim clerics to stay away from mosques and avoid a congregation of any sorts.
Even the AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, late on Thursday, issued a statement saying, “My appeal to all Muslims is to offer Zuhur prayers tomorrow at home and to not congregate. The only way we can get ahead in this fight is by practising social distancing and preventing larger gatherings.”
The khatib of Mecca Masjid Hafiz Rizwan Qureshi said, “As it was directed earlier that Mecca Masjid will not be open for prayers, the same was followed today. Around 25-30 people were there in the mosques, which included members of the press and police. I want to appeal to maintain this decorum and offer prayers on other days from their homes. We will resume prayers in the mosque once the situation improves.”
Other major mosques too remain closed in the city. They hung notices saying, “The masjid is closed for general public during jumma as well. Admission only for imam, muezzin and committee.”
On Thursday, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board had asked Muslims to offer zuhur at home in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, while adding the hashtag #StayAtHomeSaveLives.