ISLAMABAD: As the second wave of Covid-19 continues to surge in the country, President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday issued a declaration to revive the already agreed SOPs (standard operating procedures) for collective prayers in mosques and imambargahs.
The joint declaration was issued after a meeting of more than 86 clerics from the four mainstream schools of thought in the country — Barelvi, Shia, Deobandi and Ahle Hadis — who belonged to all the four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The meeting also called upon the federal and provincial governments as well as the country’s political parties to adopt precautionary measures in view of the growing danger of coronavirus.
It has been decided to observe Friday (Dec 4) as a day to create awareness about coronavirus among the masses during sermons, and prayer leaders would hold special prayers seeking forgiveness and protection from the pandemic.
The meeting, arranged by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, asked the scholars and prayer leaders to play their role effectively, as they did in the first wave of coronavirus, in preventing its mass spread during the winter season.
The meeting decided that the already agreed 20-point SOPs would be preferably implemented at all gatherings, including collective prayers.
The declaration issued by President Alvi after the meeting said that large gatherings should be avoided in functions at madrassas and shrines, Tableeghi congregations, Urs, Milad, Majalis, etc.
The declaration has asked religious leaders to forward the messages through mosques, madrassas, shrines and imambargahs to the people to abide by all precautionary and preventive measures regarding Covid-19.
The declaration called upon the clerics to hold awareness sessions across the country; however, such forums have to be conducted under the supervision of the relevant officers of district administration, while observing the precautionary measures.
Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2020