Dubai mosques now open to women; worshippers rejoice

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KT file photo used for illustrative purposes
KT file photo used for illustrative purposes

Dubai - The same set of strict precautionary measures for men’s prayer halls will apply to the ladies’ sections.

By Saman Haziq

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Published: Mon 7 Jun 2021, 6:40 PM

Last updated: Tue 8 Jun 2021, 11:29 AM

Ladies’ prayer halls at mosques in Dubai are now open, the authorities have confirmed in a circular shared with Imams in the emirate.

Issued by the Department of Religious Services of the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD), the circular was headlined ‘Reopening of Ladies Prayer Halls in all the Masjids of the Emirate of Dubai’.

“Employees of the masjids (mosques) are requested to reopen all the ladies’ prayer halls in the Emirate of Dubai starting from Asr prayer on Monday, June 7, 2021,” it stated.

The same set of strict precautionary measures for men’s prayer halls will apply to the ladies’ sections.

Women’s prayer halls had been closed for more than a year, since the UAE announced the suspension of public prayers in places of worship in March last year amid the rising number of Covid cases. While mosques reopened for male worshippers last July, the section for women remained closed. Women across Dubai rejoiced when Khaleej Times broke the news on Monday.

Resident Seema Ansari said it felt like “doors of blessings have once again opened for us”. She said she had shifted to a new house mainly because of its proximity to a mosque.

“Our family, my husband, two kids and I, wanted to go for prayers together at times. But as luck would have it, we never got a chance to go together as ladies’ prayer halls continued to be closed. I would just listen to the prayers from my balcony and thank God for at least allowing our men to be able to pray in congregation. But I am so excited that for the first time in over a year, I will be going to pray in a congregation at the mosque. There is a different sweetness about praying in congregation inside a mosque.”

Momina Ahmed is also looking forward to finally stepping back inside a mosque after a long time. She said she and her family had to discontinue their years-long Friday tradition of going to different mosques across the city. “After over a year, we are going to revive this practice once again by the will of God. Our weekend would begin with this Friday outing of praying together at a mosque in the city and then celebrate the rest of the weekend. I have missed that feeling of praying in a congregation, listening to the beautiful recitation of mosque Imams, and I am glad that this blessing has returned to us.”

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