A consultative meeting on Saturday between the government and religious leaders chaired by President Dr Arif Alevi decided on a code of conduct and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to allow prayer congregations and Traven during the holy month of Ramadan.
To avoid the spread of coronavirus, the 20-point code of conduct incorporating precautionary measures was formulated in consultation with religious scholars and provincial governments, including Azad Kashmir. The four provincial governors and president Azad Kashmir also participated via video-link in the conference. It will be the responsibility of local governments and district administrations to ensure the SOPs are followed.
In announcing the specifics of the strategy, President Arif Alevi said that the government would have the right to revisit recommendations during Ramadan if it felt that the precautionary steps were not being complied with or that the number of people affected by coronavirus had risen sharply. It was agreed during the meeting that no carpets would be laid in mosques and imambargah and that the prayers would be offered on the floor with a distance of six feet between those offering prayers. People are also expected to do homemade ablution and wash hands with soap for 20 seconds before leaving for the mosque with masks on their faces.
The SOPs also had to observe social distance and refrain from any form of meeting following the prayers. There will be no gatherings at mosques during Ramadan for If tar and Sheri. The people who come for namaz are not going to shake hands or embrace each other. Every person who comes to namaz will pray at the place marked for that reason.
Before through prayer, it was determined that the mosques floor would be disinfected with chlorine. It was agreed for Namaz-e-Traven that it should be served inside the mosques premises and not on the roads and footpaths. This was also decided that in place of halls mosque courtyards would be used for prayers. It was also suggested that children and people over 50 years of age as well as those suffering from any illness including measles, fever and cough should not come for prayer to the mosques. It has also been proposed in the current circumstances that people observe Aitkaf at their homes.
President Arif Alevi said that mosque management would also set up committees to ensure that those precautionary measures are enforced. He said the administrators of the mosques and the Imams would also remain in touch with the district and provincial authorities and cooperate entirely with them. The Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) has declared support for the statement decided during Ramadan between the government and Ullman on a new prayer strategy in mosques.
The PUC leadership in a joint statement includes Chairman Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Ashrafi, Allama Abdul Haq Mujahid, Maulana Abdul Karim Nadeem, Maulana Rafiq Jaami, Maulana Ayub Safdar, Pir Asadullah Farooq, Maulana Aseedur Rehman, Maulana Zubair Zahide, Aslam Siddiqui, Allama Tahirul Hassan, Maulana Muhammad Shafi Qasmi and Maulana Abu-Bakr Sabri said that in the context of the prevailing COVID-19 lockdown scenario, the public should ensure social distance as a pandemic safety measure. The PUC stated that Quran and Sunnah teachings have highlighted the importance of human life and in this perspective, Ulema and government representatives developed a unanimous strategy to keep mosques open during Ramadan’s holy month.