Hyderabad: City mosques wear a deserted look in Charminar
• A handful of devotees offer namaz at Mecca Masjid • For the first time in history, not more than a row was seen occupied
Charminar: For the first time in history, the gates of mosques were locked and the devotees were not allowed to offer jumma prayers to prevent the spreading of deadly Covid-19 pandemic. The handful of namazis who were seen in the first row were duty bound policemen, workers and media representatives.
The Friday prayer, which is considered auspicious and generally referred to as 'Choti Eid' (small festival) amongst muslims, this time the charm appeared to be lost amid the outbreak of Covid-19 and lockdown regulations. The historic Mecca Masjid which sees thousands of devotees during Friday namaz, gave a deserted look for the first time in history after its construction centuries ago. Even during curfews on many occasions, prayers were offered with almost full occupancy at the historic Mecca Masjid.
After the State and Central governments' imposition of lockdown and issuance of advisory against congregations and public gatherings, many mosques remained closed or allowed only five to six devotees to offer prayers on Friday. On Thursday, the TS Wakf Board and other Muslim institutions issued a circular to offer Friday prayers with a few people (not more than five) in the masjid and with a short sermon and asked people to offer prayer in their houses.
Several mosques in city were locked and many prominent mosques such as Mecca Masjid, Qutub Shahi Masjid, Ek Minar Masjid, Masjid-e-Raheem-o-Sughra Ahle Hadees, Bilal Masjid, Masjid-e-Azizia wore a deserted look.
According to the Mecca Masjid Qatib, Hafiz Rizwan Qureshi, to prevent the spreading of Coronavirus on Friday hardly 25 people including Masjid staff, policemen, and media officials had offered jumma prayer. "No other prayers would be offered in the mosques until the end of lockdown, the muslims are urged to pray at their homes and are requested to follow the lockdown orders by the government," he added.
It has been observed that a few mosques called out the Azaan with little deviation from the traditional call, asking people to perform namaz at home (in Arabic). Whereas several others called out the same Azaan and made special announcements and appeal the people to pray at home. At some mosques, the locals who arrived at mosques to offer returned back to their houses after seeing locked gates.