Two hundred survivors and relatives of victims of March’s massacres at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, are undertaking the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia to “pray for the martyrs.”
The General President of the Grand Mosque and Prophet's Mosque Affairs Sheikh Dr Abdurrahman Bin Abdulaziz Al Sudais said the decision came following a royal order by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
The two individuals hailed from Kuwait, but failed to disclose to Saudi border control officials that the male was previously in Iran, the ministry noted.
Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that mosques would no longer accept worshippers for the customary five daily prayers and the weekly Friday prayer, in exceptional measures intended to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The announcement comes amid uncertainty over the Hajj which is due to take place at the end of July, after authorities this week urged Muslims to temporarily defer preparations for the annual pilgrimage.
Saudi Arabia will enforce a 24-hour curfew across the kingdom during a 5-day holiday to celebrate Eid Al Fitr which marks the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the interior ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, to stem the spread of coronavirus.
"Ramadan's Taraweeh (evening) prayer can be performed at home if it cannot be performed at mosques due to the preventive measures taken to fight the spread of coronavirus," he said in response to a question, adding that the same applies for Eid prayers, according to the paper.
Outside those exceptional areas, curfews will be eased between 9am and 5pm (0600-1400 GMT) effective on Sunday until May 13. The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began on Friday.
For the first time in the 1400 year history of the Faith, Islam’s three holiest mosques in Mecca, Medina, and al-Quds have been closed for Ramadan and public prayers are set to remain suspended during Eid al-Fitr, the feast concluding the fasting month. Only mosque staff have performed the five daily prayers and the Taraweeh, special Ramadan prayers, which have been broadcast to Muslims locked down at home due to the coronavirus which is savaging the world.