Why are Muslim prayers on Friday

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Status: 12.03.2021 12:45 p.m.

The corona pandemic and lockdown are also changing life and processes in mosques. How do Muslims feel in times of Corona and how does the pandemic affect common prayers?

Listen to the article5 min

by Bita Schafi-Neya

Friday lunchtime in the Islamic community in Braunschweig - the muezzin's call can be heard from the loudspeaker. Little by little the believers trickled in. Usually up to 80 Muslims meet here, but only 20 people are allowed due to Corona. There is a list in front of the door that everyone has to sign up. Next to it is a dispenser with disinfectant. Each member must bring their own prayer rug.

Everyone wears a mask, because that's a must. At a distance of one and a half meters, the places where the prayers are allowed to sit are marked with white tape on the carpet. Usually Muslims sit close to each other, says parishioner Burhan Al-Gori: "In Islam, people prefer direct contact with the person praying next to them, because the Koran says: 'Don't let the devil between you.' That's why you try to stand shoulder to shoulder. "

Black stripes on the ground indicate the direction of the compass - the direction of prayer towards Mecca. Sadiqu Al-Mousllie - chairman of the Central Council of Muslims - sits in the front and calls out to prayer.

Internet streams provide moral support

The imam preaches in Arabic and German, because people from many different language communities come to the Islamic community, such as Syriac, Tunisian or other dialects of Arabic, but also languages ​​such as Persian or Russian. During the lockdown, Sadiqu Al-Mousllie also broadcasts sermons via video on the Internet and reads live from the Koran. The community wants to support its members morally: "To show that we are here and that we will see each other again soon," said Al-Mousllie.

The community has changed

Usually men and women pray separately in mosques. Female Muslims are also welcome in Braunschweig - but they are currently needed at home. The community has changed due to the corona pandemic. As a result, many members are now lonely, says member Burhan Al-Gori: "Especially neighbors, but also friends. There is a bond that deepens over time, and this bond has been pretty much lost as a result of the pandemic."

The ritual prayer in everyday life for Muslims

Ritual prayer is one of the five pillars of Islam. However, in many areas of our society there are no pauses in prayer. How can prayer and everyday life be reconciled? more

Many older Muslims avoid services for fear of becoming infected. In order to stay close nonetheless, the members regularly exchange information via social networks, emphasizes Sadiqu Al-Mousslie: "These replace certain needs up to a certain limit, but ultimately they do not replace being together in one room - that is something else."

In the spring and autumn, when social life was completely shut down, the center was closed for weeks. Members performed their Friday prayers alone or with their families at home. In the meantime, the Islamic community has reopened its doors - at least for a small group.

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NDR culture | Friday Forum | 03/12/2021 | 3:20 pm