Hyderabad, May 22 (IANS) Muslims in Hyderabad and the rest of Telangana offered 'Juma-tul-Vida' or last Friday of Ramzan prayers at their homes in view of the ongoing ban on religious congregations due to Covid-19 lockdown.
Hyderabad's historic Mecca Masjid, which used to witness the biggest gathering on 'Juma-tul-Vida' every year, wore a deserted look - for the first time in over three centuries. The imam, muezzin and a couple of employees of the mosque offered the namaz.
More than a lakh people used to gather for prayers on the last Friday of Ramzan at the 17th century mosque near the iconic Charminar. Islamic scholars had appealed to people not to gather at Mecca Masjid or any other mosque for the namaz and offer the prayers at home.
This is said to be the first time since the construction of Mecca Masjid in 1694 that 'Juma-tul-Vida' prayers were not held.
There were no congregations at any other major mosque in Hyderabad and other towns of Telangana.
This was the ninth Friday in a row that Muslims offered prayers at home as congregations at all places of worship are banned under the lockdown restrictions.
While 'azaan' are being regularly called from mosques five times a day, only four to five persons are offering the namaz.
People followed the advice of Islamic scholars and community leaders by performing at home the daily prayers during Ramzan including 'Taraveeh', the special prayers offered every night during the holy month.
The mosques also did not see any congregations on 'Shab-e-Qadr' or the night of power celebrated on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) which used to organise a meeting at Mecca Masjid after prayers on the last Friday of Ramdan, had to cancel the same. AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi delivered a speech telecast live on social media platforms.
He called upon Muslims to abide by the lockdown restriction and offer all the prayers at home.