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‘Avoid social big religious gatherings, ensure presence of six people for Nikah ceremonies, no need of large condolence meetings, follow health advisories in spirit’

Abid Bashir

Srinagar, Mar 21 (KNO): Kashmir’s Grand Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam on Saturday said Valleys’ clergy in a unanimous decision taken has decided not to close masjids for Friday congregational and mandatory five times prayers a day. He, however, said that Imams have been advised to restrict their Friday sermons to just five minutes only while as people have been urged to maintain highest level of hygiene.

Islam stated this soon after chairing a crucial meeting of Ulema from all sects, ideologies at his Soura residence. The meeting started at 2 pm and lasted till 5 pm. Talking to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Islam said a unanimous consensus was arrived at that there will be no closure of masjids and shrines across Kashmir.

“Friday prayers will be held in masjids and shrines but Imams should restrict their sermons to just five minutes and conclude prayers in another five to ten minutes,” he said, adding that only ailing and elderly people must avoid Friday prayers and instead offer the same at their respective homes.

He said that similarly Nawafils and Sunah prayers should be offered at homes by the people. “Ablution should also be done at homes. Mandatory (Farz) prayers should be held in masjids five-times a day. This is what we decided after a marathon meeting of Ulema,” Islam said.

The representatives of all the religious bodies were present in the meeting that include Muhammad Yaqoob Baba and Abdul Lateef Alqandi of Jamiat-e-Ahlihadith while as others who were present include Nazir Ahmed Qasimi, Khursheed Ahmed Qanoongoo, Prof Muhammad Tayib Qamili, Imam-e-Hai Syed Ahmed Naqshbandi, and dozens of other Islamic scholars.

He said that people are advised to avoid large social gatherings which include Nikhah and marriage ceremonies. “Not more than six people should be present from both bride and groom’s side while Nikah ceremonies should be observed in a very austere manner,” he said as per KNO correspondent present there.

The Grand Mufti said that there is no need to organize large condolence meetings like the ones witnessed during Chahrums etc. On Shab-e-Meraj and Shab-e-Baraat, Grand Mufti said that both the occasions should be observed at homes and there is no need to organize big religious gatherings in masjids or anywhere else.

He advised people to follow the health advisory in true letter and spirit. He said that Government has imposed strict curfew and confined people to their homes while as poor are suffering. “People are already suffering because of poverty and confining them to their homes is mere injustice. We request the government to—(KNO)