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Coronavirus is changing the way Muslims worship across the globe



People round the world are avoiding crowded places, decreasing on inessential travel and taking precautionary measures like performing from home to avoid catching the new coronavirus.

Several countries have also urged their citizens to vary the way they greet each other, or celebrate certain festivities.

Religious authorities, meanwhile, are advising people a way to pray or mark holy days without risking spreading COVID-19 further. The virus, which originated in China, has to this point infected quite 93,000 people globally and killed quite 3,000.

Here are some samples of the new measures and advice from Muslim countries, organisations and Islamic sites for worshippers and pilgrims.

Saudi bans 'Umrah' pilgrimage, stops foreigners visiting Islam's holiest sites
The kingdom on Wednesday banned "Umrah" for residents and citizens, per the state-run Saudi news agency (SPA).

Umrah, which might be completed in an exceedingly few hours, could be a pilgrimage that may be undertaken at any time of year, unlike the rather more intensive and time-consuming Hajj - one in all the five pillars of Islam performed during some specific days every year.

The move was in line with the "precautionary measures taken by Saudi authorities to stop the spread of the virus" within the Gulf state, SPA said.

Last week, Asian country said it had been preventing foreigners from reaching the Celestial City of Mecca and also the Kaaba, the building at the centre of the good Mosque. It also said travel was suspended to Prophet Muhammad's mosque in Medina.

This year's Hajj, which usually brings about three million people to Mecca, is predicted to require place from July 28 to August 2. Authorities haven't yet announced any restrictive measures; quite 60,000 people have applied to participate during this year's event already.

The kingdom has two reported cases of coronavirus.

Iran halts Friday prayers in major cities
Iran is struggling to contain the virus, with a rising number of cases and deaths day by day. As of Wednesday evening, those totalled 2,922 and 92, respectively.

Friday prayers altogether provincial capitals are halted.

"This disease could be a widespread one," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told his cabinet, per a transcript. "It encompasses the majority of our provinces and is, in a sense, a worldwide disease that several countries within the world became infected with, and that we must work together to tackle this problem as quickly as possible."

Singapore Muslim leader advises worshippers to use own prayer mats, avoid shaking hands
According to The Straits Times, Masagos Zulkifli, a minister to blame of Muslim affairs in Singapore, has advised Muslims to bring their own prayer mats to mosques and refrain from shaking hands with each other.

"In these circumstances, we are going to not be shaking hands. But if you are doing, wash your hands, then ensure you do not touch your face. this is often just a precaution for several people who always forget that," he said.

While it remains logistically difficult to require worshippers' temperatures at mosques, a number of which magnetize thousands of individuals, Masagos said Muslims should lodge in home if they showed any coronavirus symptoms.

There are quite 100 cases of coronavirus in Singapore, and also the majority of patients have recovered.

UK group calls on Muslim institutions to follow hygiene advice
The Muslim Council of england (MCB), one in all the United Kingdom's largest Muslim umbrella organisations, has called on mosques and Islamic schools to "keep your congregations safe", by following the government's advice.

"Much of this recommendation, and a stress on cleanliness and hygiene is in line with Islamic tradition. Abu Malik Al-Ash`ari (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) said: 'Purity is half iman (faith)'," MCB said on its website, bearing on a motto of the Prophet Muhammad.

It advised madrassas, or schools, to encourage handwashing and said mosques should have enough soap and hand sanitisers available, especially near ablution areas.

The number of individuals infected within the UK has risen to 87.

Tajikistan asks Muslims to hope reception
Tajikistan, which to this point has no reported cases, has suspended Friday prayers.

The Muslim-majority country of nine million has shut its border to neighbours China and Afghanistan further as Asian nation, Iran and Italy.

It is also cancelling celebrations for Nowruz or the Persian yr, which is widely known from March 21 to 25.

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