Dubai: UAE residents from various communities on Thursday joined the faith leaders in praying for an early end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While some like Indian expat Dr Thulasi Kumar Mukku held special prayers for UAE’s combat against the pandemic at their homes, several others joined online prayer sessions organised by different religious groups.
Speaking to Gulf News, Mukku, head of purchase at a fashion retail group in Dubai, said he decided to offer the special prayer after seeing reports of the UAE government’s call for prayer.
“We are originally from Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, where the famous Tirupati Balaji temple is located. After seeing the leaders saying that we need God’s mercy to get rid of coronavirus, we did a special ritual named Venkateswara Swamy Abishekam.”
“We hope that everyone’s prayers will be heard by the Almighty though we might be praying in different ways,” said Mukku, who is also distributing rice to those in distress during the pandemic.
He was joined by his daughter Chirasvi Mukku, a KG 2 student of the India High School in Dubai, to conduct the prayer. The father-daughter duo also kept a placard in which the words “Go COVID-19, UAE” were written while they offered milk, ghee and water to the deity.
The Sikh community members dedicated their daily online prayer from 6 pm to 7pm on Thursday to pray together for the cause.
“There is a special supplication especially for protection which says we seek your blessings and pray that you protect us in these difficult times. Our prayer ends by seeking blessings for the whole universe and humanity,” said a community member.
Several residents of the Hindu community also took part in a night prayer organised by the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi through the webpage prayer.mandir.ae.
The programme which was held between 7.30pm and 8.30pm included prayers from different communities of the Indian diaspora, devotional songs, a prayerful video presentation, chanting and meditating on the names of God and finally a blessing from the temple’s priest.
“We continue to pray to God for the health and wellbeing of all and that the spread and impact of the virus comes to an end,” said a temple spokesperson.
Relief with prayer
Meanwhile, as part of the special prayers on Thursday, members of Good Samaritans at St Mary’s Catholic Church distributed food supplies to the needy and underprivileged, irrespective of nationality or religion. The relief work has benefitted around 3,000 residents.
Art Los Banos, a member of Couples for Christ based at St Francis Church in Jebel Ali, said: “Constant prayer is the only thing that will keep us hopeful for a better tomorrow. We are always in constant prayer for this pandemic to end. We see people becoming more humble, more grateful and more simple after the pandemic.”