coronavirus: Coronavirus: Imams in West Bengal ask Muslims to pray at home during Ramzan

KOLKATA: With the holy month of Ramzan starting from Saturday, the apex body of Imams in West Bengal asked Muslims to offer namaz at home, and advised them not to assemble at mosques because of the coronavirus outbreak.

All mosque committees have been asked to communicate to the members of Muslim community that they should not crowd the mosques and offer daily namaz at home, Chairman of Bengal Imams Association Mohammed Yahia told PTI on Saturday.

Every advisory of the government in this regard should be followed for the benefit of everyone, he said.

“We have to work together to fight the coronavirus. We have already appealed to all the mosques in different parts of the state not to allow any gathering for namaz. While the imam of a mosque will offer namaz in the presence of two-three others of the masjid committee, others will pray from their homes,” he said.

The mosques will ensure the sound of the azan reaches every household in the locality, another association member said.

Echoing Yahia’s appeal, the Imam of Nakhoda Mosque, one of the prominent mosques in the state, Shafique Qasmi said, “We have already been conducting Friday prayers with only three-four people in mosque including the Imam and ensured that others do it at their homes. This procedure will continue in the Ramzan month.”

“We understand offering namaz in small and cramped rooms could be difficult for many. But please in the name of Allah bear with that hardship this time. We have to fight this coronavirus, we have to save humanity,” Qasmi said.

Both Yahia and Qasmi also requested the devouts not to follow the post-prayer practice of helping the poor with cash, who assemble near a mosque, for the time being.

They can instead hand over the money to the mosque committee which will ensure that the cash reaches to the underprivileged in the locality, the two religious leaders said.

The month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan culminates in the Eid al-Fitr.

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