The Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance is likely to suspend the Taraweeh prayers in Ramadan this year.
Taraweeh prayers that are performed after the ‘Isha’ prayer every night during the holy month of Ramadan might be performed at home. The present suspension of prayers at mosques across the Saudi kingdom can’t seem to be lifted anytime soon.
“The suspension of performing the five daily prayers at mosques is more important than the suspension of Taraweeh prayers,” Dr. Abdul Latif Al Sheikh, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Islamic Affairs was quoted as saying.
“We ask Allah the Almighty to accept Taraweeh prayers whether held at mosques, or homes, which we think is better for people’s health. We ask Allah the Almighty to accept prayers from all of us and protect humanity from this epidemic that hit the entire world,” he added.
Since 19 March, group prayers at mosques have been suspended in an attempt to contain the outbreak. The measure is likely to continue even in Ramadan. The Saudi authorities on Sunday also extended a curfew until further notice due to a surge in new infections.
Additionally, Al Sheikh said that funeral prayers for the dead should be performed only by five to six people and that these prayers could be performed at home too.
Muslims unhappy with the suspension of Taraweeh prayers
Due to the ongoing global virus pandemic, the world was moved to ban social gatherings in March. Many Muslims have voiced their concerns about how they will practice Ramadan this year. When Muslims pray in groups, also known as ‘Jamaat prayer’, they line up, side-by-side, shoulders touching. There are also many group events and religious social gathering in Ramadan which might be halted this year.
Ramadan this year is going to be extremely weird. no family gatherings, no taraweeh prayers, no hangouts. this was unexpected but I pray الله ends this prolonged pandemic
— أيمن (@aymnzI) April 8, 2020
@ Huffaaz Twitter this is our time to start preparing for Ramadhan. It's our responsibility to ensure we're performing taraweeh & looking after our Quran.Let's take initiative to establish taraweeh in our homes this year Insha-Allah and make dua that Allah SWT lifts this pandemic
— wastay at home kids (@waseem7_) April 10, 2020
ramadan isn’t going to feel the same this year without rushing to get ready for taraweeh after i finish cleaning
— mazzaleeeni🇸🇴 (@malyunnx) April 12, 2020
This Ramadhan will be a great test of our tarbiyyah as Muslims, especially men.
This will probably be the first time we taraweeh at home all 30 days of the month.
If you've memorized enough surah, you'll be able to lead the prayer at home with your family, no problem.
— Yusri J. (@itsyusri) April 10, 2020
guys wallahi i cant explain how genuinely depressing it is to know that ramadan is going to be without taraweeh and masjid all nighters and eid is going to be alone at home without your loved ones like i deadass am so upset my heart hurt
— zee🦋 (@zaaransari) April 13, 2020
Imagine Ramadan Without Taraweeh,Tahajjud and Iftaar. 💔
May ALLAH end this pandemic and forgive all our shortcomings. 🤲
— 𝔽𝕒𝕚𝕤𝕒𝕝 𝕄𝕦𝕟𝕚𝕣 (@Faisal__Munir) April 13, 2020
Ramadan under lockdown
This year, Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, is expected to begin on April 23 in Saudi Arabia.
Being an Islamic hub, mosques in the kingdom fill with worshippers during Ramadan. The more popular venues are filled to overflowing, with the faithful following prayers from the courtyard and surrounding streets.
This year many mosques will offer online alternatives, such as video conference platforms or live streaming, as a substitute for the centuries-old tradition.
Coronavirus in Saudi Arabia
Last month, in the heat of the pandemic, King Salman sealed off the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. He even closed down all places of worship to the public, including the two holy mosques located in the cities. King also suspended the year-round Umrah pilgrimage and advised pilgrims to keep their plans on hold for this year’s annual hajj pilgrimage until there is more clarity on the coronavirus pandemic.
Saudi Arabia has been reporting more than 300 new coronavirus cases per day. Residents are only permitted to leave for essential needs and violators face fines and jail time.
Saudi Arabia has recorded 4,934 infections with 65 deaths, the highest among the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. The Saudi government has warned as many as 200,000 cases could be recorded in the coming weeks.
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