Alvi outlines 20-point safety strategy for Ramazan

Says any violation of these consensus measures would amount to committing sin

By: News Desk      Published: 03:43 PM, 18 Apr, 2020
Alvi outlines 20-point safety strategy for Ramazan

President Arif Alvi has outlined a 20-point safety strategy prepared in consensus with country’s Ulema as a part of standard operating procedures to control the spread of the coronavirus during Ramazan which starts next week.

The president declared that any violation of this 20-point safety strategy would tantamount to committing a sin.

President Alvi Saturday after meeting the religious scholars from all schools of thought in Islamabad said the government and religious scholars have agreed on a 20-point agenda to perform the taraveeh and namaz during Ramazan.

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The president said that currently there is no law and order situation in the country, adding the institutions are there only to help the citizens.

While detailing the 20-point consensus evolved in consultations with the Ulema one-by-one, President Alvi said that people can go to mosques but the worshippers must keep a distance of two men between them in rows, adding that “They should not shake hands or embrace each other.”

The president said “While it has been decided to keep the mosques uncarpeted, the worshippers can bring their prayer mats along with them,” and added “Don’t offer prayers on the road or the sidewalks,” which is a usual practice in the days of Ramazan or Eid prayers due to overcapacity of the worshippers.

Alvi suggested “It’s better to offer Taraweeh at home, and it’s also advisable to observe aitekaf (seclusion) at home,” and added that “Collective sehri and aftari should be avoided at mosques (this year) as it involves the gathering of the people in enclosed places.”

However, the president said the Juma prayers and Taraveeh prayers can be organised while keeping the social distancing.

About the cleanliness of the religious places, the president said the mosques should be cleaned with the chlorine water. Besides, people should ablute at home and wash hands at least for 20 seconds.

Another point is to bar the people above 50 and those who are sick, from going to mosques.

In addition, the president said “Each province will form a committee in order to coordinate with the Centre,” and added that the government has the discretion to take special measures for any locality where the coronavirus is spreading faster, or where people are not following the measures adequately.

“The ulema have greater access to people than the government,” the president said and pleaded to the people to follow these safety points, which are “the consensus point of religious standing, the violation of which amounts to sin.”

He said through the strict implementation of the government’s recommended and agreed with clerics standard operating procedures (SOPs) to contain the spread of the deadly disease all congregational prayers can be performed.

Following are the 20 points:

·         A committee constitutes in each province to monitor the situation in mosques and imambarghas.

·         Masks compulsory to offer namaz in mosques and imambarghas.

·         Perform ablution at home and wash your hands for atleast 20 seconds.

·         It is better to sit in your homes for Aitekaf.

·         Namaz, Juma and taraveeh can be offer with maintaining minimum social distancing.

·         Cough and flue infected people must not visit mosques.

·         No musafah and handshakes in mosques.

·         Above 50 and patients must not come to mosques.

·         No carpets and mats in mosques and imambarghas.

·         Six ft distance between each namazi in mosques.

·         Chlorine would be used to clean the mosques floors.

·         No arrangements of Sehri and Iftar in mosques.

·         Bringing prayers mats are optional.

·         Government may limit the number of faithful in mosques in case of violations.  

The President said the entire nation is looking towards the government and the religious scholars to come up with a consensus policy on the matter. He said we have to give a message of unity to the nation to deal with the current situation.

Alvi said he has held consultations with different political leaders over the last few days and seeks proposals from the provincial governments as well for incorporation in the guidelines to be observed during Ramazan in mosques.

He stressed that the message of discipline to cope with coronavirus must emanate from mosques. He said we have to follow discipline as per the life and teachings of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW). The President also prayed to God Almighty to rid the country of this pandemic.