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Some mosques in Minneapolis and St. Paul are opening their doors to worshippers for the first time in more than four months.
The developments follow the state’s decision to allow places of worship to host in-person services amid the coronavirus crisis.
Mosque leaders and imams have instituted guidelines for anyone who enters the mosques. Worshipers are required to wear face masks and must bring their own prayer mats. Before coming to the mosque, people must have already performed wudu, the minor ritual purification, before prayers. Mosque attendees’ temperatures will be checked.
And for the first time, instead of praying standing shoulder-to-shoulder, worshippers will perform prayers six feet apart.
“We want people to understand the danger of this virus,” said Abdullahi “Abdiwajid” Farah, executive director of Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center in Minneapolis.
Abdiwajid and other mosque leaders are asking children, the elderly and anyone who came into contact with people infected with COVID-19 to stay home.
Mosques function as the glue that connects the community. People hold weddings and community events at mosques. Elders go to mosques to socialize and get the latest updates about their community.
“We have been getting a lot of questions from the community about when we will reopen the mosque,” said Ahmed Ibrahim, imam of Umatul Islam Center in Minneapolis. “We told them their health is more important than coming to the mosque.”
Mosque leaders said they won’t hold Friday prayers until at a later date.