By Rehan Khan
If the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s test can be positive for coronavirus and United States President Donald Trump can be tested as precaution then who on earth commoners are to show attitudes in case of adopting preemptive measures against this deadly viral infection.
ISLAMABAD, Tuesday, March 17, 2020: Convincing religious bent of mind people for offering prayers at their homes is not only difficult but an impossible task for the heads of Muslims states.
Tawakkul (a concept of reliance on God) is a good thing but it forbids you not to adopt preemptive measures for one’s safety.
Coronavirus has become a pandemic and its spread is inevitable but the safety measures are only the way forward to combat it. This a Namazi (a person who offers prayer) would get to understand and follow the injunctions as per health advisory issued by the United Nations health agency, World Health Organization (WHO) religiously.
In a bid to combat coronavirus pandemic, the Muslims countries are also taking various precautionary measures for the safety of their people’s lives.
The Saudi government took the lead by stopping Tawaf (circumambulation) in Mataf (an open area around the Khana-e-Kaba) for a couple of days. It happened first time in the Islamic history.
In addition, the Saudi government has temporary suspended the provision of visa facility for the countries affected from the coronavirus – a deadly viral infection which has paralyzed whole the business and terrorized the entire world by confining within four walls.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has also imposed ban on all houses of worship including mosques for four weeks.
Keeping in view the evolving situation on the coronavirus pandemic, a dozen of mega sports events has been cancelled and banned the public gatherings world over.
Being a coronavirus affected country, Pakistan is also exercising the world’s best practices to face this natural calamity.
Pakistan, to overcome the spread of this deadly virus, has taken many an initiative such as; two weeks western borders closure with Iran and Afghanistan, three weeks closure of all educational institutions including religious seminaries and running public awareness campaigns through all possible means of communications.
Sindh government has also announced the closure of shrines and marriage halls for three weeks and directed the local administration to establish quarantine in each district to meet any untoward health hazard situation timely.
But the next step, to stop people from offering payer in mosque, for Pakistan government would be a bit difficult but anyhow, it will have to swallow this bitter pill in the lager national interest.
For this purpose, the incumbent government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has started consultation process with religious scholars of various schools of thought so that they could reach a mutual conclusion to address the ever-biggest health issue of the world.
The talks between state machinery and clerics are under way but it seems that it would create the same controversy as in Rome by angry pope Francis who voiced displeasure with the Italian authorities’ push to shut them because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kuwait – country in the middle east – has somehow resolved the issue by bringing a slight change in Azan (a call to offer prayer in the mosque). Now, the Moazzin (a man who recites Azan at prescribed times of the day) in Kuwait says “al salatu fi buyutikum” means offer prayer at your homes instead of ”hayya alas salah” means come to pray.
Although, it is a positive development but it is still a big issue with rest of the Muslim world to stop their people from socializing at mosques.
Prime Minister Imran Khan is playing his cards well by getting religious scholars into loop on the matter as without their consent, he could not impose ban on the people for offering prayer in mosques.
If he did so on his own, he will have to face the music as anti-Imran elements can manipulate the situation and ignite the people to hold countrywide protest demonstrations against his government.
Later or sooner, the Azan into the air of Kuwait would be heard in the load speakers installed in Pakistan’s mosques and rest of the Muslim countries.
Azaan in #Kuwait changed slightly to stop people from coming to mosques due to #coronavirus. Instead of “hayya alas-salah”(come to prayer), the muazzin says “al-salatu fi buyutikum” (pray in your homes). 🕌 #CoronaOutbreak #coronapocalypse #CoronaVirusUpdates #NationalEmergency pic.twitter.com/XPe3x9qSs2
— Danyal Gilani (@DanyalGilani) March 14, 2020