By Mesum Qasmi
Insistence on offering prayers in mosques during the pandemic, knowing you can contract a virus and spread around is something very dangerous expression on irresponsible behaviour.
Does it make one non-religious or infidel if he stays at home and thinks about others who can fall prey to the virus because of him? Is a very pertinent question to ask here.
Religions tell us to help others, save humanity, promote empathy and love. How come any religion allows you to contribute to spreading the virus and putting others’ lives in danger? Believers have faith in God, I do possess but my faith does not allow me to put other’s lives at stake as it is tantamount to killing humanity.
Prayers and supplications are for purgation of soul, heart and conscience. If God forbid, I contract the virus by going to a mosque as we never know about symptoms till 14 days or it might be asymptomatic, am I not piling up the burden on my conscience? What if an elderly falls infected because of my obstinate piety? Is it justifiable?
No one in this particular matter is against prayers and religion but if the religious congregations can lead to someone’s death, we need to ponder on what’s the point in this kind of piety.
One should abide by the laws of the land to offer prayers at home in this particular situation. Take the instance of a Russian church in New York, where 51 people died who gathered for worship.
Mosques and places of worship are mere buildings that will be deserted if these are to become a reason to take away loved ones from people. It is the public or prayer leader who is responsible to keep them open. Why clergy can’t think beyond the ego? Why their faith and proclaimed brand of religion is always in danger? Can prayers cure this appalling virus yet alone without taking safety measures of social distancing? It is not a suicide to go to mosques rather consider yourself a brain-washed suicide bomber, not a true believer if you are still going.
This is the time to help the state to contain the spread and fight coronavirus. Hence, stay at home and save lives.
Mesum Qasmi is a telecom engineer hailing from Gilgit with diverse experience in national and international telecom operators: [email protected]