The President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday, May 31, 2020, announced the ease on restrictions placed on the country to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amongst other things, the ban on social gatherings has been partially lifted giving Muslims and Christians the opportunity to meet in groups of not more than 100 to fellowship for a maximum of 1 hour.
The presiding Imam of the Osu Castle Mosque, Sheikh Mohammed Bagaya has disclosed that it will be a bit “unusual for the Friday Congregational prayer (Ṣalāt al-Jumuʿah) to be held in various sections.”
He made this known in an interview on the Happy Morning Show with Samuel Eshun on Happy 98.9 FM.
Salat al-Jumu’ah (“the Friday prayer”), is a religious prayer which takes the place of the daily Zuhr prayer on Friday. It is one of the most exalted Islamic rituals and one of its confirmed obligatory acts.
With the Friday prayer, the convention is for Muslims to start their prayers at either 1:30pm or 2:00pm and it will be against that convention for the prayer to be in various sections other than the two.
Moreover, according to the Muslim faith, the congregation is expected to stand close together with little to no space between them. It is believed that, if congregants leave spaces between them, the devil can use that opportunity to distract them or even render their prayer useless by occupying that space.
But the ease of restrictions did not only come with the 100 people and 1-hour meeting maximum time but also the need to observe the social distancing policy.
With the belief of having the Friday prayers with bodies close together to deny the devil access and interference, the conventional time for the congregational prayer, then it will truly be a bizarre day for the Muslim community come Friday per the Imam’s assertion.