MOSQUES reopen in Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem amid restrictions

Jordanian king says pressured to alter custodianship of Jerusalem ...

Thousands of mosques across Saudi Arabia have reopened after over two months with strict guidelines issued by the government. Devotees have been directed to be compliant with the dos and don’ts to prevent the spread of the Covid-19.  Islam’s holiest site in Mecca, the birthplace of Prophet Mohammed, however, remained closed to the public, says AP. The government has prepared for the reopening of close to 90,000 mosques after sanitizing prayer rugs, washrooms and shelves holding copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book. Alongside reopening of the mosques in Saudi Arabia, the fabled Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest site for Muslims after  Mecca and Medina, also reopened for prayers for the first time since it was closed since mid-March. Devotees queued up outside the holy site’s gates before it opened early Sunday. Many of them were wearing surgical masks as ordered by law enforcement agencies. Their temperatures were measured before they were let in. ALJAZEERA says the Al-Aqsa mosque is one of Jerusalem’s many holy sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Western Wall, that were restricted to worshippers due to coronavirus outbreak. Throughout that period, worshippers continued to pray in the alleyways outside the mosque. The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound had closed its doors in March as part of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus. Muslims revere the site, believing that the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven there on a miraculous night journey, and it has often been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is also the holiest site to Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount and believe it to be the location of two biblical temples. Later on Sunday morning, a group of Orthodox Jews, accompanied by Israeli police, entered the compound through a visitors’ entrance adjacent to Judaism’s holy Western Wall, says ALJAZEERA. ( picture courtesy to The Times of Israel) 

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