COVID-19: Al-Azhar allows suspension of Friday prayers


CAIRO – The Council of Senior Scholars of Al-Azhar has issued a ‘fatwa’ (Islamic ruling) for the suspension of Friday prayers at mosques – including regular congregational prayers, if required –following the rapid spread of COVID-19 infections.

According to Anadolu Agency, a statement by the council headed by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb said the decision was made on Sunday, March 15, and posted on the page of the organisation’s official Facebook account. 

The council also stated that “in the event of stopping the Friday prayer or congregational prayer, the muezzin may call with every call to prayer, saying: ‘Pray in your homes.’” 

Last Thursday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, stressing that the severity of the outbreak is extremely alarming.