Hyderabad, March 26 (IANS) Authorities in Telangana have restricted congregational prayers in mosques, saying not more than five persons can offer prayers in view of the lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus.
The State Wakf Board on Thursday issued orders, which apply not only for five regular prayers everyday but also for 'Namaz-e-Juma' or Friday prayers.
The Wakf Board, a government body, directed all mosques in Hyderabad and 33 other districts to ensure that not more than five persons gather for prayers.
The orders were issued a day before Friday when the mosques witness huge gatherings.
The Wakf Board cited 'fatwa' or edict issued by Jamia Nizamia, a renowned Islamic University based in Hyderabad, stating despite high significance attached to Friday prayers, Islam also gives great importance to preservation of human life. Islam asks Muslims not to become cause of harm to anyone, says the 'fatwa'.
The Wakf Board quoted medical experts as saying that congregations could lead to spread of the disease.
It said five 'musallis' or worshippers can gather for regular and Friday prayers so that mosques are not deprived of prayers.
The Telangana government is strictly enforcing the lockdown in the state with curfew during the night hours.
The state has so far reported 40 Covid-19 positive cases.