Jama Masjid to reopen from July 4Updated: Jun 30, 2020 22:44 IST
The historic Jama Masjid, which had closed earlier this month due to fears regarding a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in the city, will reopen for congregational prayers (namaz) from July 4, Shahi Imam of the mosque Syed Ahmed Bukhari said on Tuesday.
The Shahi Imam said they are ready to reopen the mosque with all the safety protocols in place. Devotees will be requested to do wazoo (ablution) at home before coming to the mosque as well as bring their own mats, as the carpets have been removed for safety purposes.
The mosque was closed on June 11 because of the “critical conditions” in the city (the rising Covid-19 cases) till June 30. The Shahi Imam had sought public opinion before deciding to close down the mosque. The move was prompted after his personal assistant Amanullah succumbed to the infection on June 9.
“Even though the number of cases is still on the rise, the fear among people has kind of faded. People have now become familiar with the practices to keep the virus at bay. Also, they have now come to understand procedures to follow in case of infection,” Bukhari said.
Except for the early morning namaz (Fajr), the remaining four namaz will be offered at the mosque. The early morning namaz cannot be conducted because of curfew timings between 9pm and 6am in the city, he added.
Other mosques in the city, including the Fatehpuri Masjid, which had also followed the Shahi Imam’s decision to keep mosques shut till June-end, are yet to take a decision on the matter.
“We had decided to keep the mosque shut till July 4 and so was the case with other local mosques. Since, unlike the Jama Masjid, we do not have a proper gate or a compound to regulate the entry of people, it is difficult to maintain social distancing if the doors are opened. We will hold consultations with committee members of other mosques before we decide on reopening the place for prayers,” Mufti Mukarram Ahmed, Shahi Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid, Chandni Chowk, said.