Congregational prayers are expected to be held in mosques in Tajikistan after an eleven-month break. 

It is expected that mosques in Tajikistan will reopen for collective prayers on February 1, a source close to the Standing Committee on COVID-19 Response of Tajikistan told Asia-Plus Wednesday (January 20) afternoon. 

According to him, such a decision was taken at meeting of the Standing Committee on COVID-19 Response that took place in Dushanbe today.  

“The Ministry of Health and the Committee on Religious Affairs are ordered to determine the degree of danger of infection with coronavirus in mosques,” the source said.

“If unforeseen circumstances do not occur before February 1, it will be allowed performing congregational prayers in mosques,” the source added.  

Mosques in Tajikistan are still close for collective prayers.  In Tajikistan, mosques were closed for collective prayers on March 4 but excluding burial rites, following the decision that was made by the Council of Ulema on March 3 in connection with the danger of a coronavirus epidemic.

The proper appeal was published on the website of the Islamic Center of Tajikistan. “In order to prevent infection and the spread of the virus among the inhabitants of the country, it was decided to temporarily refuse to perform collective prayers, except for performing janaza”, the statement said.

However, the mosques reopened for collective prayers on March 20.

On April 17, the Council of Ulema (Tajikistan’s highest Islamic institution) told mosques to suspend public gatherings, including Friday prayers, beginning on April 18 to protect against the novel coronavirus.  A decision adopted by the Council of Ulema on April 17 also imposed suspension on performing Taraweeh (additional ritual prayers performed by Muslims at night after the Isha prayer during the holy month of Ramadan) and public gathering such as iftar and others.