Millions in Bangladesh pray for healing of COVID-19 patients

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-05-25 08:39:49 BdST

As millions of housebound Muslims across Bangladesh celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic roiling the country was at the centre of devotees' thoughts as they joined the strictly-regulated prayer congregations in Dhaka.

Thousands of worshippers from across the social spectrum attended the prayer services at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque on Monday while following the health and social distancing protocols in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Senior Pesh Imam Hafiz Mufti Moulana Mizanur Rahman led the first of five prayer congregations at 7 am.

Following special sermons and Munajat, the second congregation started at 8 am followed by two more at 9 am and 10 am, with the final one taking place at 10:45 am.

“As per the government order, no Eid congregation will be held in an open space, but people can perform the Eid prayers in mosques. However, everyone coming to the mosques for prayer must wear a mask, follow social distancing and other hygiene rules,” said Islamic Foundation Secretary Kazi Nurul Islam.

Despite the directive from the government for children and senior citizens not to participate in Eid prayers, many children and people aged over 60 participated in the Eid prayers.

Social distancing rules were maintained inside the mosques but people at the porch and stairs were seen not maintaining it.

Muslim devotees began to arrive at the Baitul Mukarram at 6.30 am and some of them were initially found to sit closer to each other. Later, they sat 2 feet apart.

Long queues of people were seen outside the gates of the mosque as the second congregation was about to begin.

After the prayers, the imam made a special supplication for those suffering from the coronavirus infection and those who died from the disease as he entreatied for the country's welfare in these times of crisis.

"Oh Allah, please protect us from the coronavirus infection and grant those suffering from it a speedy recovery," the imam said in his supplication.

"Please protect all Muslims around the world from the disease and guide them on the right path with your mercy."

On Sunday, Bangladesh registered 28 new fatalities, the highest in a daily count, bringing the death toll from the disease to 480. The caseload surged to 33,610 after another 1,532 people tested positive for COVID-19, according to the health directorate.