The Egyptian Ministry of Endowment on Thursday closed the historical and sacred Al Hussein Mosque in the capital, Cairo, days after mosques have been allowed to open amid the coronavirus crisis. Some worshippers failed to cling to the preventive measures
CAIRO – 2 July 2020: The Egyptian Ministry of Endowment on Thursday closed the historical and sacred Al Hussein Mosque in the capital, Cairo, days after mosques have been allowed to open amid the coronavirus crisis. Some worshippers failed to cling to the preventive measures required, the ministry said.
The mosque has been closed until further notice and all staff and imams (prayer leaders) have been referred to investigation over “failure to fulfill their job duties,” according to the ministry.
Some worshippers did not abide by the measures, including maintaining social distancing and limiting the presence in mosques to performing the prayers, the ministry said, without disclosing further details about the violation.
The ministry, following the incident, has called on all worshippers to stick to precautionary measures, in order not for the ministry to close any other mosques.
The famous mosque was originally constructed in 1154, and was reconstructed in 1874. Some Shia Muslims believe Al-Hussein, grandson of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, is buried in the mosque.
After a three-month closure, Egyptian mosques and Al-Azhar re-opened on Saturday after being sterilized to receive the worshippers every day except for Fridays, in light of the country’s plan of coping with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Minister of Endowment Mukhtar Gomaa said in a sermon in Mohamed Ali Mosque that the mosque goer should ablute first in his house, wear a face mask, and avoid hand-shaking. He added that ill people are advised to not go to the mosques, noting that by abiding these rules, the congregational prayers could be resumed again.
The ministry asked every mosque to distribute masks among the worshippers, with closing the door of the mosque after completing the number of the worshippers inside. In addition to this, a 150-centimeter distance among worshippers is applied inside the mosques nationwide.
According to the rules set by the ministry, the mosque should be opened 10 minutes before the Adhan [the call for prayer] and closed ten minutes after. The violator of the rules will be held accountable.