After witnessing more than two months of shutdown pertaining to coronavirus pandemic, some of the most important sites in Islam have reopened, providing the devotees a sense of respite.
The reopening of worship places comes along with strict measures with several precautions being taken to diminish the risk of the coronavirus spread, one being the limitation of the number of worshippers.
On May 31, hundreds of Muslims filed into Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, for morning prayers. As a precautionary step, worshippers had their temperatures checked, stood at a distance from each other, and were asked to wear masks and bring their own prayer mats.
The Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia was also opened for morning prayers on May 31. As a precautionary measure, millions of believers were sent text messages in multiple languages to inform them about the new rules for public prayer by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs urged worshippers to pray two metres apart, and to refrain from greeting each other with hugs or handshakes. The Grand Mosque in Mecca will remain closed until further notice.