“PUT your hand on your chest and touch your heart.”
This advice was given on Friday by an imam addressing covid19 concerns.
Atif Majeed Sulaimani was delivering the sermon at the weekly congregational Juma’ prayer service at San Fernando Anjuman Sunaatul Jamaat Association mosque on Mucurapo Street, San Fernando.
He told Muslims not to feel insulted if their “brothers and sisters” do not shake their hands or embrace them.
TT and other Caribbean countries are on high alert as the covid19 outbreak spreads worldwide.
The Juma' prayer at the mosque is attended by scores of men and women every Friday.
Sulaimani waxed religious about the illness, saying history has shown that plagues which afflicted nations in the early period of man’s existence occurred at the height of immoral behaviour. Religious books teach, he said, that diseases which afflicted past nations and tribes served as a purification.
On Wednesday, RC archbishop Jason Gordon told the midday mass at St Mary’s College chapel in Port of Spain that the sacramental wine would not be served to worshippers as a precautionary measure.
Muslims usually greet with handshakes or embrace each other before and after every congregational prayer.
Sulaimani said, “I am not saying to stop shaking hands. But if you want to be cautious, and someone put their hands forward, you don't have to shake their hands. And that person who puts out his hands should not be offended.
“I suggest that perhaps if you don't want to shake your Muslim brother’s hands, you should place your right hand on your chest. It signifies that you love your brother."
Sulaimani pointed out that oblution, which is a ceremonial cleansing before each of the five prayers Muslims are supposed to say daily, is now more necessary than ever.
“It is called wudu. It is the best prevention and Salaah is the best means of remaining pure and clean.”