Friday congregations will continue in Pakistan and mosques will not be placed on lockdown, Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman said Thursday.
He was speaking to Samaa TV after a meeting of clerics at the Presidency in Islamabad.
Rehman said the meeting could not reach a consensus on a decree issued by Egypt’s Al-Azhar University. The decree said that a Muslim government could suspend congregational prayers.
However, the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee chairman said that Islamic rites could not be suspended.
Rehman said people should offer sunnah and nawafil at home for all prayers, including Friday’s.
“Mosques will not be locked down,” he said. “Friday congregations will also continue.”
“We will not let the mosques close,” Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri said. He, however, said that congregational prayers in mosques would be limited.
Qadri urged elderly and sick individuals, and children to offer prayers at home.
Maulana Tahir Ashrafi urged elderly people, individuals with ailments and children to offer prayers at their homes.
“Only Farz prayers be offered in mosques,” he said, urging the masses to perform ablution at home.
Ashrafi said prayer leaders have been asked to stop delivering Urdu speeches and shorten the sermons.