Jeddah: The Muslim holy fasting month of Ramzan will begin on Tuesday in the Gulf region, a day ahead of India, and the faithful are prepared to welcome the spiritual month as COVID-19 continues to spread.
Last year, Ramzan was affected with pandemic-altered observances, where mosques were shuttered, and community gatherings were banned. The pandemic had disrupted Ramadan observance across the world, including Saudi Arabia which is the birthplace of Islam where Islamic shrines in Makkah and Madinah were closed for public.
The Taraweeh prayers, which are the additional ritual prayers performed by Muslims at night after the Isha prayer during the holy month, this Ramzan at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah also all mosques across the country will be shortened. The nighttime prayers during Ramadan, including Isha’a, Taraweeh and Qyam will be combined and will not exceed 30 minutes. This is a measure to reduce the time worshippers spend inside mosques as a coronavirus precaution.
Only pilgrims and worshippers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recovered from the virus will be allowed into the Grand Mosque in Makkah and Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.
In the United Arab Emirates, mosques will be open five times and also for Taraweeh. Lectures and seminars in mosques remain suspended. However, worshipers have the option to virtually attend lectures. At mosques, worshippers are also advised to read the Quran through smart devices.
Oman will be imposing strict measures during the holy month to limit the spread of the coronavirus. No Taraweeh prayers will be allowed. Oman also has restricted public movement between 8 PM and 5 AM.
In Qatar, mosques will remain open five times for daily worship but Taraweeh prayers are to be conducted at home to avoid gathering.
In Kuwait, curfew from 7 PM to 5 AM has been extended until April 22 that restricts the movement of people during night time. However, worshippers would be allowed to go to mosques for prayers.
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