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Barring Mecca, Saudi Mosques to Reopen on Sunday; No Ablution, Children under 15 Allowed

A worker is seen through a window as he places markers to ensure social distancing to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, at al-Mirabi Mosque in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. (AP)

A worker is seen through a window as he places markers to ensure social distancing to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, at al-Mirabi Mosque in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. (AP)

For Friday prayers, mosques will be authorised to open 20 minutes before prayers and should close 20 minutes after they finish. The Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, which attract millions of travellers from around the world, will remain suspended until further notice.

Mirza Ghani Baig
  • News18 Riyadh
  • Last Updated: May 29, 2020, 12:15 PM IST
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Over 90,000 mosques will reopen on Sunday after proper sanitisation measures, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) announced on Thursday.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, UAE, stated that Call and Guidance have geared up to reopen more than 90,000 major and minor mosques across the Kingdom, except mosques in Mecca. Prayers will also be allowed to resume in all mosques outside Mecca from May 31, the interior ministry said in a series of measures announced on state media.

The ministry and its staff have already embarked on maintenance, cleaning and sanitisation process of the mosques, which will reopen on the dawn of Sunday, except the mosques in Mecca, after over a two-month closure in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Rules for worshipers and mosques

1. Mosques will be authorised to open 15 minutes before prayers and should close 10 minutes after they finish, according to the rules set by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

2. For Friday prayers, mosques will be authorised to open 20 minutes before prayers and should close 20 minutes after they finish. The Friday sermon and prayers in total should be 15 minutes long.

3. Toilets and places of ablution inside the mosques are to be closed. Worshippers should do ablution at home, proper handwashing and using sanitisers before coming to the mosque and after coming back home.

4. Elders and those with chronic diseases are advised to perform their prayers at home.

5. Reading and reciting the Holy Quran online is also advised from one's mobile phone or at least reading from a privately- owned copy of Quran.

6. Worshippers must leave a distance of 2 meters between them and space of one row between two rows. All water coolers and refrigerators are to be closed.

7. Bringing one's prayer mat to perform prayers in mosques is highly recommended as well as keeping a two-metre distance between one another prayer.

8. Accompanying children under the age of 15 to the mosques is prohibited.

9. Putting on a face mask and avoidance of handshaking and scrambling, at mosques gates, are also recommendable.

10. The suspension of lessons, lectures and classes for memorisation of the Holy Quran in mosques must be upheld; education and lectures are to continue remotely.

The Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, which attract millions of travellers from around the world, will remain suspended until further notice. Last year, some 2.5 million people travelled to Saudi Arabia from around the world to participate in the Hajj, which Muslims are obliged to perform at least once during their lifetime.

Saudi Arabia has reported the highest number of coronavirus cases in the Gulf at 80,185 cases of COVID-19 with 441 deaths.

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