Cairo: Thousands of worshippers Wednesday flocked to around 830 mosques across Kuwait and performed the noon congregational prayers for the first time in about three months since the mosques were closed in the country due to fears of the novel coronavirus.
The mosques were reopened amid strict health precautions including the mandatory wearing of protective face masks by worshippers and the use of personal prayer rugs. The worshippers are also required to keep a distance of 1.5 metres inside the mosque and to perform the ritual ablution at home before going to the mosque. The elderly and those suffering from chronic disease are advised against praying in mosques while children are banned from going to the mosque.
Despite the restrictions, worshippers rejoiced over the reopening of mosques.
“Thanks are due to Allah for this blessed return,” Mohammad Al Saadi said. “I hope that the Friday prayers will also be allowed even with preventive measures,” he told Al Rai newspaper.
The imam of a local mosque, Anis Abdul Qader, described Wednesday as a blessed day due to the reopening of the mosques. “The return is, however, overshadowed by some risks and health restrictions. But, the prayer is shortened and masks are available,” he added.
In a gesture of rejoicing over the mosque reopening, 100 heads of sheep, donated by charities, were slaughtered, according to Al Rai.
Earlier this week, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs said it had completed preparations for reopening the mosques for group prayers except for the Friday ones.
The Friday prayers will be held only inside the Grand Mosque in Kuwait City starting from this week with the participation of its employees and will be broadcast live on the state television.
“We have provided enough supplies of sterilising substances,” Farid Emadi, the undersecretary of the Ministry of Awqaf said. “We have also prepared prayer places for worshippers in the mosques and have hung guiding posters,” he told Kuwaiti newspaper Al Anba.
Earlier this month, Kuwait started implementing a phased plan allowing the gradual return to normal life after a lockdown prompted by an outbreak of the new coronavirus.