COVID-19: Life Slowly Returns to NZ Mosques

After more than two months of shutdown, life is returning slowly to mosques around the world.

Wellington’s Kilbirnie Mosque, New Zealand, is one of the local mosques easing restrictions on gatherings for daily and weekly Friday prayer.

📚 Read Also: After 70 Days, Prophet’s Mosque Reopens

“We are slowly getting back to normal. But it’s not fully normal, because there are still restrictions of the numbers and … health protocols [we] have to comply with,” said President of the International Muslim Association of New Zealand Tahir Nawaz, Stuff reported.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern previously announced that the number of people allowed at gatherings would increase from 10 to 100 under alert level 2. 

Yet, Nawaz said Kilbirnie Mosque was still taking a slow approach towards full reopening.

Though the mosque could cater to 100 worshippers with two-meter distancing, Kilbirnie Mosque was still keeping to smaller groups for its five daily prayers.

Instead of one Friday prayer session, the mosque had also now split this up in to two smaller sessions.

“We always want to comply with whatever the regulations are,” Nawaz said.

Other Mosques

Other mosques in New Zealand reopened their doors for Friday prayer including Masjid An-Nur which was targeted in March-15 attack.

Mazharuddin Syed Ahmed said there was a real excitement to be able to come back and pray.

“This place is much more than prayers. For us, it’s a wonderful place to catch up,” he told Stuff.

Despite the restricted numbers, he said it was lucky he was in New Zealand and able to come back to the mosque as many countries remain shut due to the pandemic.

Imam Gamal Fouda said the community was blessed to be able to come back.

“We are thankful it came after the Eid and Ramadan, people were longing for this for a long time.”

Mosques Reopening

Other mosques across the world have started reopening their doors after long weeks of shutdown.

In Saudi Arabia, worshippers returned to the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah Sunday after 70 days of shutdown due to coronavirus.

The Prophet’s Mosque was one of the 90,000 mosques reopened on Sunday across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Mosques in Germany have also reopened their doors to worshippers, following a government decision to ease coronavirus restrictions.

Al-Aqsa Mosque compound has also reopened to worshippers and visitors after more than two months of closure.