Ahead of the fasting month of Ramadan for Muslims, Saudi Arabia on Monday decided to extend the suspension of prayers in two holy mosques-- the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque -- to prevent the spread of the deadly pandemic of coronavirus.
The two mosques, Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah and Al Masjid Al-Nabawi would broadcast the call for prayers (Adhan/Azaan) throughout the holy month but will remain closed for visitors, President General of the two holy mosques, Sheikh Dr Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz Al-Sudais, said in a tweet according to Saudi local media reports.
Ramzan or Ramadan is the holiest month for Muslims throughout the world, during which the Quran - the holy text of Islam- was revealed to Prophet Muhammad by Archangel Gabriel in 610 CE. Muslims, during Ramzan, refrain from eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset. The day ends with Taraweeh, special voluntary prayer offered by the congregation. The annual observance of Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Ramadan is observed from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next.
Last month, Saudi Arabia suspended the visits from people who would come to perform prayers inside mosques, in order to contain the spread of fast-spreading coronavirus which has taken the world hostage. Also, recently, Saudi Arabia's grand mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh had urged people to offer Taraweeh during Ramzan and subsequent Eid prayers at home to prevent spreading Coronavirus.
Taraweeh which is a night prayer that people from Muslim community offer during Ramzan, the Muslim holy month of fasting which is said to start from April 23 across the world. The kingdom has so far reported over 10,000 cases of COVID-19 and 103 fatalities due to the virus.