UAE authorities have advised sick people to avoid going to mosque for Friday prayers Image Credit: Gulf News / archive

Dubai: ‘Prevention is better than cure’ is the topic of ‘khutba’-- the Friday prayer sermon- to be delivered in mosques across the UAE on March 6.

Imams during Friday sermon will talk about the importance of taking precautionary steps to avoid contracting the disease. They will also advise people on how to prevent spreading of diseases following Islamic teachings. The special ‘Khutba’ was chosen to educate people and create awareness in the light of coronavirus cases in the country. While Muslims pray five time a day with options to pray at home or at mosque, it is obligatory to pray Friday or congregational prayers at mosques. A sermon called ‘Khutba’ is delivered in mosques before the Friday prayer on various issues to educate people.

Prophet Mohammad (Peace be Upon him) said: “The sick should not be mixed with the healthy.”

“What is required if a person is afflicted by a form of contagious disease? Such a person should not interact with others. This is intended as a form of protecting their health, and preserving their wellebeing,” says the Khutba released by Islamic Affairs and Charitiable Activities Department (IACAD) in Dubai.

Avoid public places

“This practice includes all public places, inclusive of mosques. Hence, any worshipper who feels symptoms such as fever or cold or cough or sneeze, should pray at home and not attend the mosque. He should not pray in congregation, not even for Friday prayers,” according to Khutba.

However, it does not mean that all should stop going to mosques. Only sick people should not go to mosques for prayers. And all others should take precautionary measures set by the government to avoid contracting the disease as the cases of coronavirus have been reported in the country.

Sharia Council Fatwa

The UAE’s Sharia Council has already issued a fatwa prohibiting those infected or suspected of contracting coronavirus from attending congregational prayers including Friday prayer, Eid prayer and being in public places.

The fatwa made it clear that the public must follow all instructions issued by competent authorities. “Those suspected of being infected with Covid-19 must be quarantined and commit to treatment programme set out by health authorities,” the Council said.

The fatwa also explained that senior citizens, minors and those who suffer from respiratory diseases and weak immune system should not to attend congregational prayers and instead perform prayers at home.

Council advice

The council stressed that all bodies should, according to Sharia, cooperate with the competent authorities and provide necessary support — within their jurisdiction — to limit and eliminate the disease and prevent the spread of rumours. Information must be obtained from official sources and competent authorities, the fatwa added.

It also called on all entities and individuals to extend a helping hand to those who needs it and not to take advantage of some circumstance by raising prices, especially pharmaceutical products and treatment services.

The Friday semon also urged people to follow instructions of the authorities concerned to prevent the spread of coronavirus because adherence to government instructions should be considered a religious obligation as well as a national duty.

The Ministry of Health's instructions

Avoid crowds

Sick should not mix with healthy people

Wash your hands with soap

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief when coughing or sneezing.

Restrict yourselve to verbal greetings, and avoid physical touch.

No handshake, nose touch, hugging or kissing