Covid-19 and Friday prayers in Canada

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Syed Mukarram Nazeer, Canada Correspondent

Like rest of the world, Covid-19 has resulted in strict precautionary measures across Canada. A ban on public gatherings resulted in all mosques and Salat centres in Canada being closed.

Recently the restrictions have eased, and now mosques are slowly opening. Friday prayers are now being offered in mosques. However, all is not back to normal.

Mubarak Mosque in Brampton is home to the two local chapters. To facilitate the large number of Ahmadis who could potentially attend Friday prayers, some strict restrictions were placed. The purpose of these restrictions was to ensure the safety of all people coming in for prayers.

All 16 divisions of the two local chapters were assigned a Friday when members of each division could attend. Women, children, the elderly, sick and members who had recently travelled outside of Canada were not permitted to come.

Furthermore, attendance was limited to one male person per family. Each attendee was instructed to wear a mask and bring their own prayer mat.

Upon arrival at the mosque, the body temperature was taken of each person. The person was asked questions pertaining to their health, recent travels and being in contact with any potentially sick people.

Next, they were given hand sanitisers and their names, member codes and local jamaat name were recorded. Thus, all attendees could be contacted in case at a later time, one of the attendees became sick.

In the prayer hall, markings were made on the floor at a distance of 2 m (6 ft) from each other. Alternate rows were left empty. Each person laid down their prayer mat at the assigned place and offered his prayers on his mat. The podium had a plexiglass shield placed in front of it. Masks were not required of the person on the podium.

After the prayers, all made a line to get out of the prayer hall, keeping the social distancing precaution.

Under normal conditions, the Mubarak Mosque has the capacity to accommodate up to 800 people. Only 78 people offered their Friday prayer due to Covid-19 restrictions.

May Allah the Almighty forgive our sins and relieve the world from Covid-19. Amin

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