KARACHI: The Sindh government on Thursday banned congregational prayers in mosques across the province till April 5.
The announcement was made by Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah. “Only three to five persons will be allowed to offer prayers in mosques,” he said.
He said that the provincial government had decided to impose a ban on congregational prayers after consulting ulemas belonging to every Islamic school of thought.
“The decision was taken after consulting doctors and ulemas,” confirmed chief minister Sindh’s advisor Murtaza Wahab.
He said that mosques will remain open across the province and only five people, including the staff of the mosque, will be able to pray together.
Three to five persons will be able to offer Friday prayers in congregation inside the mosque.
The decision comes a few hours after federal minister for religious affairs Dr Noor-ul-Haq Qadri announced that the government had decided to ‘restrain’ congregational prayers in mosques across the country.
“It has been decided with a consensus that Friday prayers will be ‘restrained’,” said Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Dr Noor-ul-Haq Qadri during a news conference. “Only mosques’ administration staff and a limited number of worshippers will be allowed to pray inside mosques,” he added.
He clarified that mosques will not be closed but prayers and zikr will continue inside them. Dr Qadri said that the decision had been taken in consultation with ulema belonging to various schools of thought.
“Ulema have been told to tell people to pray inside their homes,” he said. “It is not only the government’s job to control the disease but also of the people”.
The minister said that various programmes, classes and examinations across various madaris in Pakistan had been postponed in light of the outbreak.