Pakistani clerics refuse to shut down mosques; what next?

badshahi mosque

Badshahi mosque Lahore.  Suggested reading by the Muslim Times: Hajj Likely to be Cancelled this Year and When Not Going to Jumma is a Huge Blessing

Coronavirus and Islam: Pakistani clerics refuse to shut down mosques

Source: DW

As Islamic clerics refuse to stop allowing religious congregations, Prime Minister Imran Khan continues to downplay the coronavirus threat to his country. Could this be a “recipe for disaster” for Pakistan?

Last week, Pakistani President Arif Alvi and provincial governors held a meeting with Sunni and Shiite clerics to convince them to close mosques for congregational prayers across the country amid rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases in the country. The clerics, however, rejected the request.

“We can in no way close mosques … It is not possible in any circumstances in an Islamic country,” said Muneeb-bur-Rehman, a cleric who attended the meeting.

The clerics’ blatant refusal to shun collective prayers has raised doubts about Pakistan’s resolve to fight the pandemic, which has killed at least 25 people in the country and infected nearly 2,000.

Read moreIs Pakistan taking COVID-19 too lightly?

Earlier in March, when coronavirus cases in Pakistan were relatively lower, the federal government allowed Shiite pilgrims from Iran to return to the country through Baluchistan province.

The pilgrims were not properly quarantined, which resulted in a spike of infections. Also, the government allowed thousands of Sunni worshippers to go ahead with the “Tablighi Jamaat” congregation in Pubjab province. Many of the new COVID-19 cases have emerged from that mass gathering.

Health experts say the government’s measures are inadequate, fearing that the number of coronavirus cases in the South Asian country could increase exponentially in the coming weeks.

Civil society activists say that Pakistani authorities continue to appease Islamists even when the country is facing a worsening public health crisis.

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“We project that roughly 56 percent of our population – 25.5 million people – will be infected with the virus over an eight week period,” Governor Newsom of California wrote on 3/19/2020.

Categories: The Muslim Times

5 replies

  1. “Goodness does not consist in turning your face towards East or West. The truly good are those who believe in God and the Last Day, in the angels, the Scripture, and the prophets; who give away some of their wealth, however much they cherish it, to their relatives, to orphans, the needy, travelers and beggars and to liberate those in debt and bondage; those who keep up the prayers and pay the prescribed alms; who keep pledges whenever they make them; who are steadfast in misfortune, adversity and times of danger. These are the ones who are true, and it is they who are aware of God.” (Al Quran 2:177/178)

  2. I agree with you Zia—and this verse, God is every where, the best prayer is to remember God day and nigh—
    Muslim do not need to face Kaaba when you pray.

    What do you think Zia?

    Please do not delete it

    • You have absolutely no understanding of Islamic Prayer. Let’s hope some reader with more patience than me will reply to you.

  3. I am waiting a respond from those who honest and has broad knowledge of Islam— Rafiq has a little knowledge if Islam, because he just converted from Christian to Ahmadiyyah— he just play word games with me.

    • I do have the knowledge actually. Just lacking patience for someone as negative as you are. You know how Muslims pray. Should everyone pray in a different direction? But yes, I hope someone will give you a more patient answer.

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