With Friday prayers to resume on December 4, at 30 per cent capacity, Imams are reminding worshippers to take all Covid precautions while coming to the mosques.

Mohammed Al Hasan Khan, Imam of a mosque in Deira, said he had been counting days and was earnestly waiting for this Juma to arrive. "I am grateful to Allah that finally Friday prayers will be held - after a gap of 37 Fridays. Following the guidance of our beloved messenger Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and to ensure the safety of those who come for prayers, the Friday sermon (Khutbah) has been written in a focused and comprehensive manner, such that the prayer and the Khutba (sermon) together will not exceed 10 minutes."

Khan advised people to shower and do ablution from their homes and come early to secure a place inside the mosque.

"We will open the doors to welcome the worshippers half an hour before the Azan (call for prayer), i.e. around 11.41am. Everyone is requested to take the precautionary measures - wearing face masks, bringing their own prayer mats, avoid handshakes, not crowd at the entry and exit points and cooperate with the volunteers at the mosques", he said.

Another Imam Dr Abdul Hameed Zafar, who leads a mosque in the International City area, said this step speaks volumes about the incredible measure the UAE has taken to fight the Covid-19. "We should first thank God and then the visionary leadership of the UAE for making all the required arrangements for this to happen. Indeed, it is good news that all worshippers have been waiting to hear for the last eight months."

Dr Zafar said that he is expecting a huge crowd today. "However, we hope that people will not be flouting rules. It is with great effort that the authorities have given this privilege of praying Juma in mosques. So, let's not take it for granted."

He urged people to follow guidelines so that the Juma prayers will continue without hurdles. " We have deployed extra volunteers at the mosque and we request people to cooperate. I urge people not to crowd at the entrance, keep a two-metre distance at all times and do not take masks off even for a minute while inside the mosque. You can pray Sunnah prayers at home. Do not insist on staying inside for long after the prayer or socialise outside the mosque. I urge worshipers to come on time and take a place wherever they get, do not skip rows or try to go in the front or to other rows. Obey the rules and make it a blessed day for yourself and others," said Dr Zafar.

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