Good Friday: Mitchells Plain mosque reopens for prayers amid COVID-19 concerns

Under level three lockdown regulations, places of worship are allowed to welcome their flocks back but under very strict conditions.

FILE: The Al-Khair Mosque in Mitchells Plain reopened under strict conditions in June 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - This is the first Friday in 10 weeks that Muslims have been allowed to gather in community to pray.

Under level three lockdown regulations, places of worship are allowed to welcome their congregants back but under very strict conditions.

Whilst most religious bodies have opted to hold off on services and the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) itself has called on mosques not to reopen for a while, one mosque in Mitchells Plain decided to hold prayers on Friday.

Imam at Masjid Al-Khair, Sheikh Riad Fataar, admitted that he was very nervous about reopening the mosque.

“I was also worried that we are going to be overrun with people, but I felt like I had achieved something for the community. When everyone said it is a logistical nightmare. I wanted to tackle that.”

All congregants were temperature tested at the security gate. They also needed to bring their own prayer mat and wear a mask in order to enter the mosque.

To make sure there was social distancing only men between the ages of 13 and 60 were allowed inside.

Fataar said that the congregants were very happy to be back at the mosque for their special Friday prayers.

“They said we missed the prayers...we missed the mosque.”

At least 100 congregants arrived to make prayers on Friday and were divided into two separate sessions to ensure there were never more than 50 people in the mosque and the space was sanitised between the sessions.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.