Combating coronavirus: UAE worshippers pledge to be responsible

Combating, covid19, coronavirus, UAE worshippers, pledge, responsible

Now that they can step back inside their safe haven, they pledge to take all necessary precautions for everyone's safety.

By Saman Haziq and Ashwani Kumar

Published: Tue 30 Jun 2020, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Jul 2020, 12:23 AM

Emotions ran high as the faithful finally heard that places of worship were reopening from tomorrow, July 1.
Some cried tears of joy, while others were speechless for a moment as they processed 'a strong rush of emotions'. Now that they can step back inside their safe haven, they pledge to take all necessary precautions for everyone's safety.
Nadeem Ahmed, a Dubai resident for seven years, said he was emotional. "I cannot wait for the mosques to reopen and I am planning to go there well in advance so I can be on the first row behind the imam. Learning about the reopening was a very emotional moment for me as I have always been very fond of praying all my five prayers at the mosque. I miss that feeling of praying behind the imam, whose beautiful recitation would soothe my heart."
Nadeem said he has already finished preparing for his much-awaited prayer at the mosque. Everything is ready, he said, from the mask and gloves he will wear to the prayer mat he will use.
"I have already downloaded and activated the contract-tracing app AlHosn that is mandatory for all mosque-goers. Now, I will remember to perform ablution at home before going for my prayer as the ablution areas and washrooms will be closed," he said.
Welcoming the news, Dubai-based sales and marketing professional Fahad Siddiqui said: "People like me who are working out on the field are relieved to hear this because it saves us a lot of time in finding a place to pray when we're outdoors."
Fahad, who recently moved to a new house mainly because of its proximity to a mosque, said: "We had shifted to a new place near a mosque so my kids and I could go and pray in congregation there. But as luck would have it, the Covid-19 pandemic struck and we could not go to the mosque at all. So it will be a special day for me as I will be going to pray at this mosque near my house for the very first time."
Abu Dhabi resident Vinod Xavier, a devout Christian, said places of worship offer solace that no other place can give.
"I feel at peace once inside a church. When you pray and share your miseries, I feel reassured that there will be a solution to problems soon. I was missing that feeling while participating in online streaming of masses. Now, I am awaiting word from my church on precautionary measures to follow," he said.
A practising Hindu living in Abu Dhabi, Mahendra Patel, praised the timely decision to gradually reopen places of worship.
"This is fantastic news. People are in need of comforting and motivation. This is the right time to offer people a place to devote themselves to God. I am sure the government has put all safety measures in place and I promise I will adhere to each of them." 

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