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Friday prayers in UAE: Residents excited about going back to mosques

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi
ismail@khaleejtimes.com Filed on November 25, 2020 | Last updated on November 25, 2020 at 11.43 am

KT file photo

Ashraf Ahmad

Vergin Godfrey Ismail Okedi

Tariq Mohammad

Abdul-Jaleel Kuttiyassan

Mosques across the country will host Friday prayers starting from December 4.

Abdul Jaleel Kuttiyassan is very excited to make the call for Friday prayers in his neighbourhood mosque next week, after a long gap of eight months.

Before the spread of Covid-19 forced the UAE to stop Friday prayers at mosques, Kuttiyassan had volunteered to make the second Adhan (call) for Friday prayers at his neighbourhood mosque in Abu Dhabi’s in Mohamed Bin Zayed City. On Wednesday, he was out of words to express his happiness when he heard the news about the resumption of Friday prayers in the mosques.

The National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) on Tuesday announced that mosques across the country will host Friday prayers starting from December 4.

The UAE had resumed congregation prayers at mosques on July 1 with reduced capacity, but Friday prayers remained suspended.

"I welcome the decision to resume Friday prayers and sermons. I have been waiting for a long time to offer Juma prayers in mosque again," said the Indian expat.

Kuttiyassan is not the only resident who was excited about the news of resumption of Friday prayers at mosques.

Tariq Mohammad, a Pakistani expat, said it's difficult to believe that worshippers have spent eight months without attending Juma prayers and sermons at mosques.

"I'm so happy to hear that the government has allowed us to attend Friday prayers and sermons again. I can't express my feelings," said Mohammad.

“When we all gather and pray together on Friday, we feel energised.” The 51-year-old explained that listening to the call for Friday prayers (Adhan) which asked residents to pray at their homes, had always bothered him since the closure of mosques in March.

Ugandan expat Vergin Godfrey Ismail Okedi, a transport administrator at a government department, said: “We thank Allah that mosques will host Friday prayers again. It is so exciting to go back to mosques, perform Juma prayers and attend to the sermons after a long time.

Okedi urged his fellow worshippers to continue adhering to the Covid-19 safety measures put in place by the authorities while going to mosques to perform prayers.

Another UAE resident, Ashraf Ahmad, 45, said it is a great pleasure to return to God’s house for Friday prayers after a long period. “This is a great blessing. We are hopeful that very soon the UAE will be free from this pandemic situation. Thanks to the UAE government and the health workers for their dedication and commitment in the fight against Covid-19. They have made this happen,” said Ahmad.

Dr Seif Al Dhaheri, spokesperson for the NCEMA said during a virtual Press briefing that the mosques will permit 30 per cent of their capacity for the Friday prayers.

"The mosques will open 30 minutes before the sermon (Khutbah) and will close 30 minutes after the prayer," said Al Dhaheri, adding that the sermon and prayer will last for 10 minutes.

“All precautionary measures issued earlier for the reopening of mosques, including wearing of face masks by all worshippers, not shaking hands or hugging and worshippers bringing their own prayer mats, remain in place,” he added.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com

author

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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