Srinagar, MINA – For the first time in history, Kashmiri Muslims are unable to hold Friday prayers in congregation on the first and second Friday of Ramadan as happened in a number of Muslim countries in the world because of coronavirus pandemic.
People in Kashmir are undergoing a gloomy Holy Month this year because the threat of spreading coronavirus has prompted authorities to ban congregational prayers in mosques throughout Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
There were no Friday prayers at the Jamia Mosque, Dastgeer Sahib and Dargah Hazratbal in the city of Srinagar, as quoted from Rishing Kashmir on Sunday, May 3.
The government also prohibits gathering of people in any location, including in religious places.
A police spokesman said there were no Friday prayers in congregation at J&K.
“On the first Friday of the Holy Month of Ramadan, Muslims pray in their homes and no congregational prayers are reported from anywhere,” he said.
Unlike in a large number of Muslim countries that start fasting on Friday, April 24, Ramadan in Kashmir starts Saturday, April 25, with little or no excitement seen in mosques and people praying tarawih in homes.
Although the muezzin echoes the call to prayer through loudspeakers in the mosque, only a handful, not more than 10 people, are permitted to pray in the mosque.
The condition has been for six consecutive weeks when Friday prayers were not held at the mosque since the lockdown began.
As of May 2, COVID-19 claimed eight lives in J&K while 639 positive cases have been reported so far. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)