The government has been unable to hold consensus in dealing with clerics to impose social distancing in mosques
Pakistanis stuck between clerics and government. As Pakistan prepares for Ramadan, the concepts of Pray at home & stay at home seem to be difficult. The government is enforcing the closure of markets, business and trade activities. The industries are also facing closure the fight against corona virus.
As the world is fighting a pandemic and restricting Muslims for gatherings and special prayers, the government in Pakistan is doing the same. The government of Pakistan has set up Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for Ulema to make sure no crowds gather in mosques.
The rift between government and ulema
Earlier, the rift between government and Ulema could not settle. The government and ulema were not on the same page. However, the government set up meetings with them and they did agree that they will not promote crowding the mosques. Further, Ulema will make sure they are following SOP’s given by the government of Pakistan. Police will check all the mosques, and in case of any violation, the arrests will take place.
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The Special Tarawi prayers have also been suspended by the government. This is the first time in the recent history that Muslims will pray at home.
The decision is made by the government to control the spread of corona virus pandemic in Pakistan. Moreover, government also locks-down all stalls and shops of refreshment which are especially set up in Ramadan.
On the other hand, Christians also celebrated Easter a few days ago by staying at home. It signifies how all the religions are sacrificing their holy days to prevent themselves from pandemic virus.
It shows that the corona virus affects our religious activities as it is damaging other aspects of our lives.
In this regard, the government is suspending all activities related to Sehar and Iftar. It is not allowing the restaurants and other public places to serve meals. Moreover, each province is practicing its own strategy to lock down but the common goal is to fight the corona virus.
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The biggest festival of Muslims after Ramadan is Eid-ul-Fitr. Muslims across the world celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr as the month of Ramadan ends. It begins with a special prayer of Eid as life comes to usual and Muslims can eat and drink all day. In view of current situation, it seems that the government will also suspend the Eid prayer. For this, the mosques will use loud speakers to offer sermon and the people could offer prayer at their homes.
In the current tense situation, the government recommends that we should follow our teaching of Islam and practice them to get rid of this pandemic. “Our message for people is to stay calm and do not get panic, we’ll come out of it. We’ll rise up once again. We’ll go to mosques and practice our religious activities,” is what the government has to say.
However, it seems that Pakistanis are stuck between clerics and government.