A Facebook post claims the National Chief Imam has said there will be no Friday prayers for Muslims until further notice
A press release signed by the Chairman of the National Chief Imam Advisory Board states that large mosques, especially in urban areas, are discouraged from holding Friday prayers until further notice. Smaller mosques and institutionalized mosques are, however, allowed to gather for prayers within stipulated guidelines for such gatherings.
As a measure taken to contain the spread of Coronavirus, President Nana Akufo-Addo introduced an abridged format for religious services when he announced the ease of restrictions concerning public gatherings on May 31, 2020. He, thereby, outlined some protocols to be followed by churches or mosques that are willing to open their buildings for services. The guidelines include a maximum of 100 congregants for one-hour service by both faiths.
Consequently, there have been a number of responses to the President’s measures for religious institutions, with some churches opting against opening their buildings for in-person services. The Office of the National Chief Imam also informed members of the Islamic community of his stance in a press release.
Following this, a Facebook user claimed that the National Chief Imam has cautioned that there will be ‘No Friday prayers for Muslims until further notice’.
The claim is misleading.
A press release signed by Mammmah Gado Mohammed, the chairman of the National Chief Imam Advisory Board has addressed the said claim.
In the statement, gathering in mosques by a large congregation for Friday prayers is discouraged until further notice:
“In view of the high risk of losing control of huge congregational sizes, pursuant to the directive of the president limiting the number of worshipers to 100, Jumu’a Salat in major mosques, particularly in urban areas, should be discouraged until further notice,” the statement reads.
Concerning smaller mosques, the release states further that; “Where applicable Jumu’a prayers should be held at minor/lower masjids (mosques) concurrently in all communities with high Muslim concentration, with the number of worshippers not exceeding 100”.
The statement also adds that Jumu’a Prayers may be held at institutional mosques, such as the police, military and others where there is sufficient control.
The Chief Imam has not cautioned against Friday prayers for Muslims, contrary to the Facebook user’s claim. A press release signed by the Chairman of the National Chief Imam Advisory board states unequivocally that prayers in large mosques, especially in urban areas, should be discouraged until further notice.
The statement, however, permits smaller mosques and institutionalized mosques to gather for prayers within stipulated safety preventive measures against coronavirus, for all such gatherings.