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UAE Friday prayer sermon: Gratitude is an act of worship

Sahim Salim/Dubai
Filed on December 4, 2020 | Last updated on December 4, 2020 at 10.55 pm
Photo by Shihab

Imams praise the UAE government for the resumption of the prayers after a period of closure necessitated by the pandemic

The UAE residents were reminded about the importance of gratitude as mosques across the country hosted the first socially distanced Friday prayers on December 4.

The prayers called Jumuah and the sermons that precede it resumed eight months after mosques and other places of worship were closed as a precautionary measure against the spread of Covid-19. Though the five daily prayers had resumed in July, the Jumuah remained suspended.

In all, the Jumuah prayers were not offered for 37 Fridays.

Worshippers wearing masks and clutching their own prayer mats filed in as early as 11.45am on the day, as they were directed to take their socially distanced positions. Mosques were allowed to open 30 minutes before the sermons, and closed 30 minutes after the prayers.

The main prayer halls were closed after they took in 30 per cent of capacity. Worshippers that came in after were directed to take their seats in the external courtyards and squares.

UAE Friday prayer sermon: Gratitude is an act of worship (KT27016124.PNG)

Familiar sights missing

One familiar Friday prayer sight that was missing was the distribution of dates and water bottles inside mosques. Authorities had directed that the practice be discontinued so as to keep mosque-goers safe.

Another missing element were copies of the Holy Quran inside mosques. Usually stacked with copies of the holy book, shelves at mosques were seen empty. Physical copies of the book are not kept at the mosques anymore to prevent the risk of infection spread. Worshippers are, instead, encouraged to bring their own Quran copies or digital ones accessible on phones or tabs.

UAE Friday prayer sermon: Gratitude is an act of worship (KT27019124.PNG)

10-minute process

The prayer and sermon — which usually take about 30 minutes — lasted just around 10 minutes. The call for prayer was given out at 12.12pm, and by 12.30pm, the prayers were over.

During the sermon, Imams welcomed the worshippers “after a long break” due to the pandemic, as they talked about the importance of the “culture of praise and gratitude”.

“Gratitude is a great act of worship. It is one of the attributes of the prophets and wise men, and the righteous and the wise, and Allah Almighty praises those who were grateful to him,” the Imams told worshippers.

They praised the UAE government for the resumption of the prayers after a period of closure “necessitated by the pandemic”. They also prayed for an end to the pandemic, even as they stressed the importance of following the Covid safety guidelines.

UAE Friday prayer sermon: Gratitude is an act of worship (KT27018124.PNG)

'Surreal experience'

Meanwhile, worshippers have thanked the government for resuming the Jumuah prayers. Some called it a “surreal experience”. “Fridays were never the same and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience today,” said Dubai resident Asad Muhammed.

Another resident Taimur Javed praised the social distancing measures in place at mosques. “Ten minutes after I stepped in, they closed the doors (as the mosque had taken in 30 per cent capacity). It’s good as everything was under control. Overall a very positive experience, thankful to be back again.”

sahim@khaleejtimes.com

(With inputs from Abdul Karim Hanif)





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