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Pakistani clerics announce resumption of five-time congregational prayers at mosques

Pakistani clerics announce resumption of five-time congregational prayers at mosques

Prominent Pakistani clerics have announced resumption of five-time congregational prayers at mosques across the country, saying that uncertainty about the end of the COVID-19 pandemic could not stop people from activities of daily life and regular business.

The congregations were banned when the countrywide lockdown was imposed in March to contain the spread of coronavirus, Dawn news reported

However, with the beginning of Ramzan in April, the government agreed on 'Taraweeh' prayers in an agreement with clerics under the defined standard operating procedures (SOPs) which allowed only limited number of people at mosques.

The fresh announcement by the clerics on Monday came after a meeting in Karachi where the clerics expressed the view that nothing was sure about the coronavirus pandemic and in this situation, Muslims couldn't leave prayers and their rituals out of fear.

"No one knows that when this virus would come to an end. So in this situation we cannot quit everything in the name of precaution and fear. It's time to reopen Masjid and offer congregation prayers," said a statement issued after the meeting quoting Islamic scholar Mufti Taqi Usmani as saying.

"We hope for cooperation from the government. The government should also announce lifting the ban on congregational prayers and Taraweeh… It would help in removing all those fears and reservations which run high across society," he said.

"In these challenging times, there is a strong need for unity between the government and citizens of the country to make their due contributions."

The development comes as Pakistan has registered a total of 43,336 COVID-19 cases, with 926 deaths..