Coronavirus: Do not perform Eid prayer behind a TV screen, says al-Azhar scholar

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As Ramadan approaches its final days and Muslims worldwide prepare for Eid al-Fitr amid coronavirus lockdowns, a top Egyptian scholar is urging people to not pray directly behind a television or a radio broadcasting the Eid prayers.

Mahmoud Muhanna, a member of al-Azhar’s Council of Senior Scholars, told Al Arabiya’s sister channel Al Hadath that it is not permissible to pray behind a television screen or radio unit while following an imam’s Eid prayers via broadcast.

“Eid prayers will be performed within the home with two rakats [units of prayers] with seven takbeers in the first rakat using the ihram takbeer and five takbeers during the second rakat,” Muhanna told Al Hadath’s Lamees al-Hadidi during her Cairo Now bi-weekly program.

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Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and is expected to begin on Sunday, May 23, pending the sighting of the moon given Islam’s following of the lunar calendar.

Read more: Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia will not allow group prayers until it’s safe, ministry says

The global coronavirus pandemic has forced mosques around the world to close to worshippers as part of measures to stem the spread of the virus. Muslims often perform communal prayers in mosques that require them to stand side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder.

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh earlier this week confirmed people can perform the Eid al-Fitr prayer inside their homes given the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

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