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In Zaranj, worshipers ignore Covid-19 guidelines

In Zaranj, worshipers ignore Covid-19 guidelines

author avatar
9 Aug 2021 - 17:37
In Zaranj, worshipers ignore Covid-19 guidelines
author avatar
9 Aug 2021 - 17:37

ZARANJ (Pajhwok): Religious scholars and medical experts, expressing their concerns over the non-observance of social distancing and wearing of masks by worshippers during prayers in mosques.

Adherence to Covid-19 guidelines, recommended by medical experts and the World Health Organization (WHO), does not disrupt prayers, scholars say.

The use of face masks, observing a distance of two meters and frequent washing of hands are among the key recommendations for avoiding contracting the virus.

This Pajhwok Afghan News reporter visited several mosques in Zaranj, where worshipers offered prayers without wearing masks or observing social distancing. Sitting close to each other, listen to sermons and advice from imams.

Qari Rahmatullah Mohammadi, one of the imams in Zaranj, confirmed Pajhwok that in most mosques, worshipers did not follow health guidelines.

He remarked: “The coronavirus is deadly and dangerous. It has shaken society. All of us must fight against it. The way to combat the pandemic is follow the guidelines. But, unfortunately most of our people ignore such advice.”

Mohammadi stressed the need for wearing masks and observing a distancing outside homes was important. Worshipers at mosques must follow these precautions, he continued.

According to him, religious scholars have always encouraged worshipers to adhere to the guidelines and they should not ignore them while performing prayers.

The prayer leader added: “Unfortunately, our people are traditional and ideological; they argue if there is sickness and pain, it is from Allah and no disease can harm us unless Allah wants. Therefore, most people do not follow the guidelines.”

He noted a vast majority of Afghans, including residents of Nimroz, neither wore masks not observed social distancing in mosques other crowded places.

“Masks are not used in cities and crowded places. When asked why they do not wear masks, they reply the coronavirus is a disease from Allah. Despite having knowledge, they are influenced by their religious beliefs.”

Maulvi Rahmani, a religious scholar in Zaranj, told Pajhwok they asked worshipers to observe the health guidelines. But in most mosques, this advice is ignored.

He said ensuring social distancing and wearing masks did not disturb prayers at all. Instead, the precautions were considered a good deed, because worshipers paid attention to saving their own and others’ lives, he argued.

He criticized worshipers and said, “Unfortunately some of our people ignore the danger of coronavirus which shocks the world and scientists could not respond to, if people at least follow health guidelines, it would help to a large extent prevent the spread of the virus, but we see most of our people go out and join the society without wearing mask and observing social distance, the infected people join society without quarantine, they contribute to spread the virus.”

He also stressed on observing social distance and wearing mask while praying in mosques and said that observing the two procedures would not interrupt prayers.

Rahmani said, “I hope all will understand the hard situation, the illness spreads fast, it infects people regardless of their religion and gender, so it is important for all to act according to the guidelines of MoPH.”

MulaviHezbullah, head of Nimroz Hajj and Religious Affairs Department, told Pajhwok that they always directed Imams to follow health guidelines, particularly wearing mask and observing social distance while praying in mosques.

He termed implementation of health guidelines as mandatory and said, “We have talked with scholars and people on this issue. We told them that protection of someone’s life is important than anything.”

He said that Sharia allowed people to move away from diseases such as plague, something that also happened during the era of Prophet Mohammad (SAW) who directed people to keep themselves away from the disease.

After the spread of the virus, some medical scientists gave some recommendations to people and Islamic scholars endorsed them and termed them as an obligation for people to follow, he said.

Hezbullah said, “Unfortunately they do not wear masks neither in mosques nor in social gatherings… we see people do not help. So we see high fatalities from the virus. All is because of people’s negligence… we at least should follow the guidelines in our families; it is a sin when people neglect it.”

He said that the social distance was even observed in Masjidul Haram in Mecca and Afghans should learn from tt.

Dr. BismillahHakimi who works in Nimroz Civil Hospital said that negligence in observing health guidelines would create human disaster.

Meanwhile, Dr. Farid Ahmad Nasrat, acting Nimroz health director, said that all the people should follow health guidelines as the only way to keep virus at bay.

Nasrat termed raising coronavirus cases as worrisome and said, “Unfortunately positive virus cases and fatalities are very high in the third wave, this virus is still spreading and unfortunately our people help little and they ignore the disease and health guidelines.” He said that the social distance and wearing mask should be observed not only in mosques, but in all places.

He said they had talked with officials of Hajj and Religious Affairs Department for encouraging worshipers to follow health guidelines and had also told Imams to follow the instructions.


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