Moscow, March 20, Interfax - The Ulama Council of the Spiritual Muslim Board of Russia has cancelled collective and Friday prayers in all mosques and places of worship in light of the threat of coronavirus.
"If the categorical demand to attend Friday prayers is lifted due to worsening climate conditions making it difficult to attend mosque, then this rule is also applicable to the case of the spread of rare and unstudied diseases," the Ulama Council said in its theological conclusion circulated in Moscow on Thursday.
Religious scholars also cited the Prophet Muhammad, who said, "Do not harm yourself, and do not harm others."
In this light, the muftiate suggested that Muslims perform the Friday prayer online and organized a broadcast of the Friday sermon and prayer from the Moscow Cathedral Mosque.
The Muslim Spiritual Directorate told Interfax that "these measures may be extended depending on the epidemiologic situation."