Ramadan 2020: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to stream taraweeh prayers

Imam and two worshippers to carry out prayers this year due to restrictions on gatherings

Men stand for prayer after breaking their fasts in Sheikh Zayed Mosque on the first day of Ramadan in 2016. Ravindranath K / The National
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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi will broadcast daily taraweeh prayers live for Muslims to watch at home, as they will be unable to visit the mosque during Ramadan this year.

The special annual prayers, held daily during Ramadan, will be streamed live from the UAE’s largest mosque on state TV channels and radio stations across the country.

An imam will lead two worshippers in prayer, instead of hundreds flocking to the mosque each night, after a decision by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments.

The UAE Fatwa Council prohibited prayer in mosques this Ramadan to avoid large gatherings and limit the spread of Covid-19.

The two worshippers will be regularly screened for Covid-19 and must wear face masks and gloves, the state news agency Wam reported.

Authorities said the decision to broadcast the prayers from the mosque was made to preserve the spiritual atmosphere of Ramadan.

Almost 50,000 worshippers stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the prayer halls and courtyard of the mosque during taraweeh over each weekend last year.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque attracted almost a million visitors over the first three weeks of Ramadan in May last year, with tens of thousands of iftar meals served daily.