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Ramadan, Eid prayers to be done from home to prevent coronavirus spread: Saudi Grand Mufti

Mecca is empty [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 April, 2020

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Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti said that Muslims must perform Ramadan's 'Taraweeh' and Eid prayers from home.
Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti has decreeed that Muslims must pray nightly Ramadan Taraweeh prayers and Eid prayer at home if the novel coronavirus disease persists.

"Ramadan's Taraweeh (evening) prayer can be performed at home if it cannot be performed at mosques due to the preventive measures taken to fight the spread of coronavirus," Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Sheikh said.

Al-Sheikh, the highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia, made this ruling speaking to Okaz, a newspaper aligned with the Saudi regime.

Taraweeh prayers are exclusively carried out in the holy month of Ramadan, where Muslims traditionally gather to pray in Mosques.

He said the same ruling will apply for Eid prayers, which take place the morning after the holy month of Ramadan is finished.

Leading Muslim clerics have backed the call to close all mosques during Ramadan, a time of year when they are usually at their busiest. Worshippers are already resorting to praying at home to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Read also: Will coronavirus cancel Ramadan? Five things to expect for this year's holy Muslim month

Last week, Saudi media quoted the country's Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah as warning that between 10,000 to 200,000 people could be infected with the virus in the kingdom within weeks, based on four different expert studies.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman also issued final rulings and judicial orders on visitation rights of children of separated parents in the latest effort to try and curb the spread of the novel coronavirus among households.

Ramadan is traditionally a social time for Muslims where families gather to eat, socialise and pray together.

Saudi Arabia has stopped issuing visas for pilgrims from abroad wanting to perform the Umrah pilgrimage, as well as their own citizens, and will continue to do so during Ramadan.

According to Saudi authorities, over 7 million foreign pilgrims travelled to the kingdom to visit Mecca during Ramadan in 2019.

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