Coronavirus Pandemic

Combating coronavirus: UAE worshippers welcome live broadcast of Taraweeh prayers from Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on April 26, 2020 | Last updated on April 26, 2020 at 08.01 am
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Taraweeh

(File photo)

It has been decided that the Taraweeh prayers at the mosque would be limited to the imam and two worshippers.

Muslim worshippers have welcomed the live TV and radio broadcast of Taraweeh prayers from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, saying this would help them keep the spirit of Ramadan alive in their homes.

The Ministry of Presidential Affairs (MoPA) - in coordination with the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (GAIAE) and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre - said on Saturday that the live airing of the prayers would continue throughout the holy month.

It has been decided that the Taraweeh prayers at the mosque would be limited to the imam and two worshippers, in line with precautionary measures taken to curb the spread of Covid-19, authorities said.

The two worshippers, who would be allowed to perform the prayer at the mosque, must wear face masks and gloves at all times. Regular screenings would also be conducted.

Mohammed Rafiq - a Syrian expat in Abu Dhabi who had been attending the Taraweeh prayers at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque over the past years - said the live broadcast is certainly a good idea.

"Ramadan without Taraweeh prayers at mosques is really hard. I have been performing all Taraweeh prayers at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque for the past five years and this year it is different," said Rafiq.

"I'm already feeling disconnected from mosques and other worshippers. But with the live broadcasts of Taraweeh prayers on TV and radio, we can keep the spirit of Ramadan in our homes."

Indian expat Nazer Ahmed echoed the sentiment. "Though it is not permissible, according to the Islamic teachings, to follow the imam during the prayer in a radio or television broadcast - as following him requires one's physical presence - watching the live-stream of the Taraweeh prayer will at least keep us in the mood of Ramadan and maintain the religious spirit in our home amidst the pandemic situation," said Ahmed.

Ugandan worshipper Sinani Bukenya said that while it is "sad to pray from home", he knew the restrictions were for everybody's safety.

"Ramadan without Taraweeh prayer in congregation is really hard. I miss gathering and interacting with fellow worshippers during Taraweeh prayers. I have never imagined this," he said. Despite this, Bukenya said he was happy to listen to the Quran recitation from his favourite imams during the live-stream.

Since March, all mosques across the UAE were temporary closed until further notice and congregational prayers, including Taraweeh, have been suspended.

The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) of Dubai earlier said Taraweeh prayers can be performed at homes. The head of the household may lead the prayer for his family either by reciting verses memorised from the Quran or by reading from the holy book. 


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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