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1 Lakh worshipers offer Friday prayers after Saudi govt reopens Prophet Mosque

Aizbah KhanWeb Editor

19th Jun, 2020. 09:32 pm
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1 Lakh worshipers offer Friday prayers after Saudi govt reopens Prophet Mosque

More than one lakh worshipers attended the third Friday prayers after the opening of the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.

Meanwhile, a partial gathering of Friday prayers at Masjid-ul-Haram in Makkah was attended by officials of the administration of the Haram, health and security personnel and imams and shaykhs.

In addition, Friday prayers were offered in the congregation with SOPs in all mosques of the country.

Prayers were also offered in Qiblatin Mosque, Qaba Mosque, Syed Al-Shuhada Mosque and other big mosques in Madinah.

It may be recalled that Saudi Arabia had restricted congregational prayers in Masjid al-Haram and Masjid al-Nabawi on March 20 in view of the increase in cases of coronavirus in the country.

Coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia have exceeded 1.5 million, while 1,184 people have died.

Also read: Saudi Arabia announces to open the Prophet Mosque gradually to people

Note that, Saudi Arabia is likely to scale back or call off the Hajj pilgrimage this year for the first time in modern history as coronavirus cases surges.

Muslim countries are urging Riyadh to announce its much-delayed decision regarding Hajj 2020.

Over 2.5 million pilgrims performed Hajj last year. But the decision has not been announced this year. 

Indonesia withdrew from the pilgrimage this month after pressing Riyadh for clarity. Malaysia, Senegal, and Singapore also withdrew from the pilgrimage.

Several other Muslim countries including Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Lebanon, and Bulgaria, are waiting for the official announcement. 

Faith leaders in other countries such as France have insisted on the Muslims to “postpone” their pilgrimage plans.

“Saudi Arabia is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea,” Umar Karim, a visiting fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, told AFP.

“The delay in announcing its decision shows it understands the political consequences of cancelling the hajj or reducing its scale.”

Saudi officials said that Saudi Arabia is “buying time” as it treads cautiously. 

He said, “At the last minute if Saudi says ‘we are ready to do a full Hajj’, (logistically) many countries will not be in a position”

“The Hajj is the most important spiritual journey in the life of any Muslim, but if Saudi Arabia proceeds in this scenario it will not only exert pressure on its own health system,” said Yasmine Farouk from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“It could also be widely held responsible for fanning the pandemic.”

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