Coronavirus lockdown: Muslim body seeks nod for Jummah Namaaz in mosques across Maharashtra

Days after the Supreme Court allowed the Jagannath Rath Yatra in Puri, Raza Academy has urged Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to allow Muslims to perform their Jummah Namaaz (Friday prayers), across Maharashtra. It has further said that Jummah Namaaz must be allowed as it is as sacred as the annual Rath Yatra.

Notably, all places of worship, irrespective of the religion, have been ordered to remain closed to stop devotees or followers from gathering in large numbers to curb the transmission of COVID-19.

In a letter written to the CM, Raza Academy claimed that it has received several calls from Muslim clerics, seeking to perform the Jummah Namaaz, especially after the top court's judgment allowed the Jagannath Yatra. The Academy has, however, promised to follow all the COVID-19 guidelines and ensure social distance is maintained so that members of the community do not get infected by the virus.

"The SC has allowed the Yatra with an assembly of 500 people to pull the chariots, terming it as a sacred religious gathering. The visuals are all over the social media," the letter reads, adding, "In view of the SC judgment, we appeal to you to kindly allow the Jummah prayers, which is an essential part of the Islamic religion."

The letter further goes on to claim that the Academy has been receiving hundreds of calls from clerics and community members. "Several Muslim clerics and Muftis have contacted us, asking to urge the Maharashtra government to immediately allow Jummah prayers in mosques," Saeed Noori, the general secretary of Raza Academy, said.

"The entire community is restless and is concerned for its religious duties. Hence, an immediate announcement shall ease the burden on their minds and souls for being away from such an important aspect of Islam," Noori has said in his letter.

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