KABUL (Pajhwok): The decision to suspend prayer in the mosques will continue to be in force, if the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic does not disappear worldwide, Saudi Arabia minister for Islamic Affairs said on Monday.
Abdullateef Bin Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh has asserted in an interview on MBC satellite channel’s “In a Week” Program transmitted on Saturday.
Al-Asheikh prayed to Allah Almighty that the pandemic disappears soon, adding that suspending obligatory prayer is more important and greater than suspending “Taraweeh” prayer.
He supplicated to Allah Almighty to accept all Muslims’ Taraweeh prayer, whether it is performed in congregation in the mosques or at home. Al-Asheikh prayed to Allah to ward off this pandemic from all mankind.
In his MBC interview, he referred to the formation of the Committee for Shariah Sciences on the Coronavirus Pandemic, as part of the ministry’s efforts to counter this pandemic.
He also spoke on how to conduct funeral prayer following the temporary closure of mosques.
“From the perspective of taking all the necessary precautionary and preventative measures and relying on Allah Almighty, all the people must comply with the directives issued by the competent authorities,” Al-Asheikh asserted.
“What is issued by the related and competent authorities totally bans socializing due to the clear evidence on the adverse effects of mingling,” Al-Asheikh stressed.
He added: “Funeral prayer for the dead should be performed at the cemetery. There shouldn’t be a large number of people. The rest can perform funeral prayer for the deceased, in their homes. If anyone wishes to perform funeral prayer for the dead, he can do so at home.”
Asked about the reason for forming the Committee for Shariah Sciences on the Coronavirus Pandemic, Al-Asheikh asserted that the Kingdom issues directives to all the government authorities and ministries to carry out what is beneficial in countering and eradicating this pandemic from the Kingdom, the Muslim countries and the entire world.
He said that among these tasks are those pertinent to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, some of which were great acts, which all have discerned. These acts and efforts have been lauded greatly, he added.
The minister further said: “As research on religious and Shariah subjects comes under the jurisdiction of the ministry, it has seen fit to conduct research on religious and Shariah topics with the objective of providing the public with the correct Shariah information on this pandemic and the related rules and rulings.”
“At the same time, this will block the way before misconceptions, and wrong ideas and edicts, which are issued by some people, who have made it permissible to digress from the opinion of the consensus Muslim scholars.
“This is taking place after the people and time had forgotten them, because their thoughts were described as polluted. Furthermore, their deeds do not emanate from good (khair) or knowledge of the Shariah,” Al-Asheikh said.