The Shahi Imam said, “If a situation arises where human life is in danger, then it becomes imperative to protect people’s lives.” Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the mosque’s royal imam, said on Thursday that the historic Jama Masjid would be closed to devotees with immediate effect until 30 June in view of “critical” conditions in the city.
Bukhari said he made the decision after consulting public and Islamic scholars.
The development comes after Shahi Imam’s secretary Amanullah died of a novel coronavirus at Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday night.
The Shahi Imam said, “If a situation arises where human life is in danger, then it becomes imperative to protect people’s lives.”
“There is a majority opinion that the saving of human life is paramount and the Shari’a (Islamic jurisprudence)? There is enough excuse for this,” he said.
After taking public opinion and consulting the scholars, it has been decided that from the rib Maghrib ‘(sunset) from Thursday to 30 June, no mass prayers will be held in the Jama Masjid.
“A select few will offer namaz five times daily, while ordinary worshipers will offer namaz at their homes,” he said.
The mosque opened on June 8 after a two-month hiatus with the government, with further exemptions as part of “Unlock-1”, the first phase of the novel coronovirus-inspired exit from nationwide lockdown.
On June 8, along with many other establishments such as shopping malls and offices across the country, as well as religious places opened, Bukhari asked governments to reconsider their decision in view of the rapid proliferation of coronoviruses.
According to the latest official figures, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi is over 32,000 including 984 deaths. The city has more than 19,000 active coronavirus patients.