The Minister of Rural Development and Local Government, Senator Haji Kazim Hosein, is reminding all citizens of the importance of adhering to the health and safety protocols that come with “the new normal”, as they return to their places of worship from Thursday 11 June 2020.
In an announcement by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, on Sunday 7th June 2020, the date for the re-opening of places of worship was advanced to Thursday 11th June 2020.
In an official statement, Minister Hosein expressed gratitude and joy at being able to return to the Masjid for Jummah prayer on Friday.
“There is a feeling of gratitude and greater appreciation for life as we are able to return to our places of worship,” he says in the release. “We are all happy to once again join with our brothers and sisters at our respective places of worship to give thanks to Almighty God. However, we must observe the guidelines issued by the Government to protect us in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.”
He added: “Worshippers must continue to wear face masks, maintain social distancing and proper hygiene practices by washing and sanitizing their hands before and after joining their congregation. This is not the time to return to our old habits and neglect the call by the authorities. We must not drop our guard.”
In the release, Minister Hosein reiterated his prayer for continued mercy and blessings upon all religious congregations.
“As we return to our various places of worship, I pray that Allah (swt) blesses us with good health, long life and imaan (faith) to seek his reward through good deeds,” he said. “May Allah (swt) accept our ibadaah (worship) and grant ease to all our brothers and sisters who are facing difficulties and hardships. Ameen.”
The Minister also shared a message to fellow Muslims:
“As mosques across our beloved nation are re-opened, I want to remind all my brothers and sisters in Islam of the importance of Shukr (gratitude). In returning to our religious organisations, we must remember to give thanks to Almighty Allah (swt) for protecting us throughout this difficult time. Many countries across the world have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and are unable to loosen their restrictions. Let us be grateful for the boundless favours showered upon us by the Almighty. I encourage you to offer prayer for all our brothers and sisters who are unable to resume worship at their churches, masjids and temples.”
He also reflected on this year’s Ramadan observance, noting:
“Islam teaches us to be compassionate, patient, generous and grateful. Prayer is the best form of gratitude to Allah. Today, I embolden all citizens to continue to make D’ua (prayer) and always remember to say Alhamdulillah (praise be to god) for the gift of life, for being able to leave our homes and go to our mosques and being able to have experienced another month of Ramadan with our loved ones. Though Ramadan this year was different, we will forever cherish the time spent at home with our loved ones. I truly believe it increased our faith in God and reminded us that prayer is the greatest vehicle of communication to the Almighty.”