Coronavirus teaches us once again: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath

Epigraph:

Every human life is precious and sacred and saving one is like saving the whole of humanity. (Al Quran 5:32/33)

Western wall

The Western wall with the Dome of the Rock in the background. Suggested reading: Corona Fear’s Cure: Chanting from the Bible and the Quran

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

At the Western Wall plaza, tape was laid out to separate groups of worshipers. At the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Stone of the Anointing was sanitized and incense was spread. The gates of the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock were closed to worshipers, who prayed instead in the outdoor courts. The prohibitions imposed in an attempt to limit the coronavirus outbreak have been heard quite well in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The Western Wall, where Jews have prayed for many centuries, daily worship has changed. Normally at this time of year, the plaza in front of the Western Wall is packed. The Jewish holiday of Passover starts in about three weeks. But now, the area is cordoned off into small sections with yellow tape; people are not allowed to congregate in groups larger than 10 within each subsection.

Governments have closed churches, mosques and synagogues in many Western countries and for good reasons, I believe.

But, many believers seem to have mixed reaction and are not clear in their thoughts. When USA declared social distancing of 6 feet many devout Muslims were trying to find rationalizations for standing shoulder to shoulder in congregational prayers, especially for the Friday prayers.

This is when I wrote: When Not Going to Jumma (Friday prayer) is a Huge Blessing.

One of the holiest sites in Islam, 8 million people visit the Great Mosque of Mecca, Saudi Arabia each year, according to the BBC.

The photo below, taken on Feb. 14, shows worshipers participating in Tawaf, a ritual that involves walking around the Kaaba, a sacred structure at the center of the mosque.

kaaba

Satellite image from February 2020

A similar image from March 3 shows a much thinner crowd:

26_great mosque and kaaba_mecca_during coronavirus_3march2020_wv3.1583852448818

The mosque closed on March 5 for sterilization, and reopened on March 7.

If experts in epidemics sincerely advise social distancing then rest assured that the contemporary religious leaders have no magical powers to suggest otherwise.  But, some are in search of cheap publicity:

Nevertheless, many religious leaders have shown constraint and balance and few have not.

St_Peters_Square_March_12_2020_Credit_Vatican_Media

St Peter’s Square in Rome. Rome’s church buildings are closed through April 3

In these difficult times, let us all, religious or not, be guided by a profound quote from one of the greatest sons of Adam, Galileo Galilei when he said, “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”:

In conclusion, every human life is precious and sacred and that is where we need to focus on rather than on the precise details of rituals and I know here I am supported by the scriptures of all the Abrahamic faiths, the Quran, the Bible and the Torah or the Old Testament.

Additional reading

What Every Muslim, Christian and Jew needs to know: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath

All of humanity are intimate neighbors: Coronavirus proves it once again

Praise be to God for the Miracle of Our Immune System

 

1 reply

  1. The Fanatic or orthodox Jew, Christian and Muslim believe that they do not be afraid of Coronavirus, God will protect them— They still pray to gather in Church, Mosque and Synagoguen whereas Government has ordered to close churches, Mosques and Synagoguens .

    They do not care the coronavirus will spread to others.
    Very sad indeed.

    TB Joshua’s church is open too, thousand People attand the his church in Negeria

    ❤️🙏

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