Islamabad authorities seal Faisal Mosque’s inner halls over SOPs violations

President Arif Alvi has revived the SOPs laid down with the help of Ulema for congregational prayers

Local authorities have sealed the inner prayer halls of Faisal Mosque due to a violation of COVID-19 SOPs laid down for Friday’s congregational prayers. The congregational prayers will continue in the mosque lawns under the standard operating procedures laid down by the Ulema and the government.

President Arif Alvi met 86 religious leaders from the various sects from all parts of the country to discuss the prevailing situation. After the meeting, he revived the agreed-upon SOPs for all masjids and imambagahs.

SOPs for congregational prayers

Earlier in the year, the government and the religious leaders agreed upon SOPs for mosques to follow to ensure that the coronavirus does not spread. These included keeping people at a suitable distance and removing all prayer rugs from the halls. It also required people to wear masks and bar people too young or too old from attending congregational prayers. While the SOPs were followed for the first few months, people stopped following them eventually. Strict checking of the mosques can help in ensuring that the SOPs are followed.

The need of the hour

The second wave of coronavirus has hit Pakistan pretty severely, and the number of cases has been going up daily. Yesterday, over 3,800 cases were reported throughout the country, the highest in several months. There are over 50,000 active cases in the country. Taking precautions during prayers can significantly limit the number of cases that can stem the spread of the virus. However, if people continue to offer prayers standing shoulder to shoulder and without masks and precautions, the number of cases can reach a new height in the coming weeks. If the SOPs can be followed in Masjid e Haram, the holiest site in Islam, we too should follow them in our mosques.  

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