President urges clerics to help contain coronavirus spread

ISLAMABAD                –             In a video conference with President Arif Alvi on Thursday, Ulema from different schools of thought assured the government of their corporation in creating awareness among the masses regarding coronavirus.

During the consultative session, the President urged the Ulema to advise and educate the people to stay indoors and offer their prayers in their homes, which would help in containing the spread of the disease.  The President highlighted the preventive measures which need to be taken by the people to stop spreading the virus. He emphasized that the only solution to the present crisis was to maintain social distancing and act upon the guidelines provided by Islam to cope with such situation. The President appreciated the unity among Ulema, particularly the unanimous declaration issued by them yesterday in Karachi which calls for adoption of preventive measures against Covid-19.

The Ulema assured their complete support and said that they would comply with the instructions given by the government. They said they had already taken a number of steps like cancelation of religious congregations, postponement of convocations and examinations, besides declaring holidays for over 3 million madrassah students.

They advised the people to resort to Almighty Allah to rescue us from this crisis. The Ulema appreciated the steps initiated by the government against the pandemic. They also commended the relief measures taken by the government for the welfare of the needy.

The Ulema paid homage to the doctors and nurses who are on the frontline against this pandemic. Meanwhile, the President expressed his gratitude to the Ulema for supporting the policies of the government.

President AJK, Sardar Masood Khan, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Pir Noor ul Haq Qadri, provincial governors, including Governor Gilgit-Baltistan, Chairman, Council of Islamic Ideology, Qibla Ayaz and Ulema from various schools of thought were also present on the occasion.

It is important to mention here that Egypt’s Al-Azhar issued a Fatwa (edict) on the request of President Dr Arif Alvi permitting suspension of Friday prayers to control the spread of deadly coronavirus in the country.

After the Fatwa was issued the President on his twitter handle posted that “I am thankful to Grand Imam Shaikh of Al Azhar and Supreme Council for responding to my personal request to provide guidance to us with regard to Farz Jamaat & Juma prayers in mosques during coronavirus attack.”

President Alvi through Egypt’s ambassador in Pakistan had sought guidance from Al-Azhar institution, an authority on Islamic injunctions, for a word on suspension of congregational prayers at mosques amid spike in coronavirus cases.

The Fatwa stressed that public gatherings, including congregational prayers at mosques, can result in spread of coronavirus and the governments of Muslim countries have full jurisdiction to call off such events. It also emphasized amending the Azaan (call to prayer) with words ‘Salaat Fi Buyut-e-Kum’, meaning ‘pray in your homes’, instead of the usual ‘come to prayer’. Also, families within their homes can arrange group prayers.

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