Physical distancing during prayers abolished

An elderly man recites Quran after prayers at the Grand Friday Mosque, located in Islamic Centre | Photo: Ahmed Nishaath

Malé, Maldives – Islamic Ministry of Maldives has announced that their decision to perform daily prayers with physical distancing in the Male’ area on March 1, 2021 will be abolished from todays Maghrib prayer onward.

Islamic Ministry took the decision to carry out physical distancing during prayers after Covid-19 situation started getting worse day by day in Malé City in the earlier months of this year.

Following several discussions with various religious scholars regarding the pandemics situation in Maldives it was decided on March 1, 2021 that the daily prayers held in Male’ city will be performed with physical distancing until the city is more safe from the current Covid-19 situation. 

The Ministry had informed that the decision to continue daily prayer with physical distancing instead of closing down the mosques was because several islamic scholars had advised that closing down the mosques would greatly sadden the citizens reasoning that it is better to carry out daily prayers with physical distancing until the Covid-19 situation got better. 

While the Islamic Ministry had decided to carry out daily prayers with social distancing as a protective measure against Covid-19, several citizens and islamic scholars had criticized the decision saying that praying with gaps in between each other is not encouraged and has never been done in Islamic religion. However, others countered the argument stating that muslim countries including Saudi Arabia were following physical distancing prayers at present due to the pandemic.