Taraweeh, Itikaf, Iftar suspended in Makkah, Madinah in Ramadan

Taraweeh prayers suspended in Mecca and Medina in efforts to contain coronavirus


Saudi Arabia has suspended Tarawih prayers at the two holy mosques in Mecca and Medina in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Tarawih, special night prayers performed during the holy month, will be held without public attendance at the Grand Mosque [Masjid al-Haram] and the Prophet’s Mosque [Masjid al-Nabawi], said Abdul Rahman As-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.

Tarawih will be performed mainly with staff, As-Sudais said in a statement on Twitter.

The statement also said that itikaf — the Islamic practice of secluding oneself in the mosque to pray — has been canceled at both mosques.

It also said that Umrah will remain suspended until further notice.

The novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to 185 countries and regions since emerging in Wuhan, China last December, with the U.S. and Europe now the hardest-hit areas.

There are more than 2.4 million cases worldwide and over 170,000 deaths. More than 647,000 have recovered from the virus, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.