Mosques reopen in Oman after eight months

Muscat: Mosques in the Sultanate of Oman opened doors for prayers on Sunday after eight months of closure due to COVID-19.

The decision to reopen the mosques was announced by the Supreme Committee on Covid-19 on November 10.

Mosques whose capacity is not less than 400 worshippers will allow worshippers except for Friday prayers.

Speaking to the Observer, Abdul Aziz al Ghafry, Assistant General Manager of Preaching and Guidance at the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, said strict vigil on safety should be observed in accordance with the COVID-19 protocol.

“The opening of big mosques is on a trial basis and upon successful implementation of the same, we hope to see smaller mosques too are allowed to open with full COVID-19 protocols soon. For that, we earnestly urge all responsible citizens and residents of Oman to follow the safety measures,” said Al Ghafry.

First of all, a worshipper with fever, throat infection, or uneasy breathing should avoid going to the mosque. If any of the worshipper’s family members have similar symptoms, then also he should stay away from the mosque.

Mosques will be open for 25 minutes for each prayer including the ‘Adhan’ (call-for prayer) and time for entry and exit of the worshippers.

They cannot use the Holy Quran or water dispensers kept inside the mosque premises. Similarly, toilets have to be totally shut.

“Each worshipper shall bring his prayer mat and take them back with them while returning,” said Al Ghafry.
Wearing masks, sanitising hands and a social distancing of 1.5 metres are applicable to worshippers too.

Representatives of the ministry who are in charge of the mosques shall ensure that the worshippers comply with the “Instructional Guide and Procedures for Mosque Preparation and Equipment” issued by the ministry.