Masjid-e-Nabawi, Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque reopen to public

Masjid-e-Nabawi, Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque reopen to public

Riyadh (Web Desk): Saudi Arabia reopened the doors of Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah to public on Sunday as part of an ease in the curfew restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to the Arab News, mosques across the Kingdom, except for those in Makkah, will open their doors to worshippers on Sunday.

The Saudi minister of Islamic affairs announced on Friday the readiness of the Kingdom’s mosques to welcome worshippers after he completed field trips to check on necessary preparations.

“Throughout our inspection trips, we found our mosques to have completed preparations and are in the best condition,” Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh said.

Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque also reopened to worshippers on Sunday after a two-and-a-half-month coronavirus closure, but Muslim authorities imposed some precautions as health officials warn of an uptick in local infections.

The resumption of prayers at Islam’s third-holiest site caps a somber period for Jerusalem’s Muslims, who this year marked the holy fasting month of Ramadan and the Eid-ul-Fitr holiday without their usual daily visits to Al-Aqsa and the adjoining Dome of the Rock.

The Council of Islamic Waqf cited the slowed local spread of COVID-19 in lifting entry restrictions and reopening the compound’s iconic shrines, which shut on March 15.

Hundreds of Muslims chanted “God is the greatest” as they packed into the compound in Jerusalem’s walled Old City early on Sunday for dawn prayers.

But Muslim authorities imposed some measures to reduce the risk of contagion, as new cases in Israel spiked in recent days.

Worshippers must wear face masks and bring personal prayer rugs should they wish to pray inside or on the compound’s outdoor grounds, the council said in a statement.