Al-Azhar, Pakistani ulema differ on prayers at mosques
File photo of Al-Azhar Universtiy.
As the world-famous Al-Azhar University on Wednesday declared that the government enjoyed the authority to ban the daily prayers and Friday sermons at mosques due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the religious leaders in Pakistan said the daily prayers will continue to be offered at mosques.
In a fatwa, the Al-Azhar said that the public gatherings and Friday prayers resulted in the spread of coronavirus.
It noted that elderly people should stay at home and avoid visiting mosques for daily or Friday prayers.
The Al-Azhar University also urged the people to offer the prayers at their homes and said the call to prayers (Azan) should be modified in the given circumstances.
The fatwa was issued after President Arif Alvi contacted the reputable institution on the subject amid the coronavirus pandemic, as the experts are calling for banning the public meetings, including the ones at the places of worship.
Countries like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran have already imposed different restrictions or banned on the daily and Friday prayers at mosques.
On the other hand, the religious leaders from all schools of thought at a press conference in Karachi shared a declaration, which said the mosques will remain open for the daily and Friday prayers.
However, they said the government could impose restrictions on the basis of age or medical conditions. They said the people should offer the Farz at mosques while the Sunnats, Nawafil and wajibs at their homes.
They also noted that the people should come to the mosques after ablution at their homes.
About the Friday sermons, the religious leaders said that those who were ill or taking care of elder family members could offer the daily Zuhar prayers instead.
They also said that the people with age of over 50 years and children should not come to the mosques.