Morocco’s government closed mosques on March 16 amid mounting fears of the spread of the coronavirus.
Rabat – With Ramadan right around the corner, Morocco’s Supreme Scientific Council urged Moroccans to adhere to lockdown measures during the holy month.
The council issued a press release on April 21 requesting that Muslims perform Taraweeh prayers at home rather than at a mosque due to the spread of COVID-19.
The council said Moroccans can perform the prayers individually or in groups with individuals who are free of the virus.
Every year during Ramadan, Moroccans convene at night to perform extra prayers at mosques after al-Isha prayer. Morocco will observe the first day of Ramadan on April 25, according to astronomical calculations.
Arguing that preserving life from all harm is prescribed legally, the council’s statement emphasized that the measures are in line with the instructions to protect the Moroccan people during the pandemic.
The Supreme Scientific Council called upon Muslims to be patient, accept the situation, and consider the pandemic in their prayers.
The Islamic institution recalled that it closed all mosques in Morocco on March 16 amid mounting fears of the spread of COVID-19.
The new call from the supreme council is in line with the government’s recent decision to extend the state of emergency for an additional month. The nationwide lockdown is now set to end on May 20, days before Eid al-Fitr, when Muslims carry out prayers at the feast in the morning to mark the end of the holy month.
It remains to be seen whether the government will extend the lockdown after May 20 or allow Moroccan citizens and residents to return to normal life. The decision, however, depends on the development of the COVID-19 situation in Morocco.
Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb said on April 20 that the country will lift the lockdown gradually depending on the number of cases in each region when the confinement period comes to an end.
Morocco has confirmed 3,209 COVID-19 cases as of 6 p.m. on April 21. The country’s death toll stands at 145, while recoveries have reached 393.