Sunday, March 7

Delhi’s Jama Masjid to reopen on July 4: Shahi Imam


The historic Jama Masjid will reopen for congregational prayers (namaz) from Friday (July 4), Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of the national capital’s largest mosque, said on Tuesday.

Though the mosque was opened on June 8 amid the easing of nationwide lockdown restrictions, which were imposed from March 25 to contain the spread of the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, it was closed three days later because of a spike in the viral outbreak cases in Delhi.

The Shahi Imam had sought public opinion before deciding to temporarily close down the mosque for congregational prayers until Tuesday (June 30).

The move was also prompted by a personal tragedy for the Shahi Imam, when his personal assistant for 20 years, Amanullah (57), had succumbed to the contagion.

The Shahi Imam said the mosque authorities are ready to reopen the place of worship only after safety precautions are put in place.

Mosque-goers have been requested to perform wazoo – an Islamic procedure for cleansing parts of the body, or a ritual purification – at home in a bid to maintain adequate social distancing and also urged to bring their own prayer mats.

“The fear about the viral outbreak is receding among people, despite a spike in Covid-19 cases in Delhi. Now, there is a lot of awareness about the viral disease,” Bukhari said.

The faithful can offer prayers four times a day at the mosque, except the morning namaz (Fajr), because a curfew would be in place between 10pm and 6am, he added.

Other mosques in the city, including the Fatehpuri Masjid, too, had followed the Shahi Imam’s decision to keep the mosques shut till end-June and are expected to reopen from Friday (July 4).