Coronavirus: Muslims Urged to Take Own Mats, Avoid Shaking Hands

As Wuhan coronavirus spreads across the world, fears are escalating about worshipping houses with many mosques taking measures to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

In Singapore, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli urged all Muslims attending prayers at mosques to take their own mats. He also advised them to avoid shaking hands to minimize contact.

These measures were taken to protect congregants from the coronavirus while still allowing them to perform their religious obligations.

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“In these circumstances, we will not be shaking hands. But if you do, wash your hands, and then make sure you don’t touch your face. This is just a precaution for many of us who always forget that,” he said, Straits Times reported.

The new measures in Singapore became necessary with some houses of worship alerting people to take extra care amidst the outbreak of this virus.

In the same context, Grace Assembly of God church stopped all services and activities for two weeks after two of its employees contracted the virus.

Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) organising a familiarisation trip and briefing to Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan in Kuala Lumpur, aimed at promoting it as one of Malaysia’s premier Islamic tourism highlights. YAP CHEE HONG/ The Star.
Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) organising a familiarisation trip and briefing to Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan in Kuala Lumpur, aimed at promoting it as one of Malaysia’s premier Islamic tourism highlights. YAP CHEE HONG/ The Star.

Malaysia Closes Mosques

In Malaysia, the Putra Mosque and the Federal Territory Mosque closed temporarily to tourists over concerns over the novel coronavirus outbreak.

 However, the mosques will remain open only to Muslims to conduct their prayers.

The virus originated from the central Chinese city of Wuhan and has quickly spread to more than 32 countries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday that there have been 78,811 reported cases of Covid-19 [the WHO official name of the novel coronavirus disease] and 2,462 related deaths.

Islam is a holistic belief system and it takes into account the physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of individuals and societies.  

Although care of the individual is important, safeguarding communities, including its weakest members, is of paramount importance.