Egypt has decided to partially reopen Cairo’s iconic Al-Hussein Mosque as of 7 July following a few days of closure over worshippers' non-compliance with the new coronavirus precautions.
Egypt allowed religious venues, closed for a few months due to the pandemic, to reopen starting from 27 June with mandatory regulations, including opening mosques only for 30 minutes for prayer services and closing doors leading to shrines, existing in some places, in a bid to reduce the risk of infection.
Some worshippers at Al-Hussein Mosque, however, had violated the rules last week and stood around the outside walls of the shrine located inside the well-known mosque, according to a statement by the religious endowments ministry on Monday.
The ministry, which runs Islamic places of worship nationwide, has decided to close the mosque, sack its administrative director, and fine two imams and other staffers.
On Monday, however, the ministry announced the partial reopening of the mosque, completely isolating the place of prayer from the shrine in order to prevent possible crowding.
"The decision was taken given the place of the mosque in Egyptians' hearts and those who love Ahl El-Bayt ("the family of the Prophet Mohamed")," the ministry added.
The Old Cairo mosque houses a religiously significant shrine believed to be the burial place of Al-Hussein, the grandson of the prophet.