In Germany, an Ikea store near Frankfurt loan it’s car park to a local mosque for socially-distanced mass Eid prayers.
On Sunday, around 800 Muslims prayed in the sizeable open-air space. Kadir Terzi, a mosque chairperson, said that to the Muslims the prayer felt like a reward. The BBC reports that local Muslims asked if they could use the car park for prayers in order to maintain social distancing regulations. Although, he was not expecting a positive response, the chairman of a Wetzlar mosque, Kadir Terzi, approached Ikea last week, and Ikea agreed. Mr Terzi said, “… the store manager didn’t hesitate for a second and said ‘Yes, you can pray’. I was surprised and happy at the same time.”
Pictures of the Eid prayer posted on social media have been widely shared, with many complimenting the mosque for finding a safe way for the community to pray together. A video shows hundreds of people laying down their prayer mats at a distance from each other, with the aid of overseers.
Worshippers were instructed by the mosque to bring their prayers mats and face masks to the Ikea car park, and to keep physically apart. They were also reminded that in line with German coronavirus rules, children under 12 should be left at home.
Terzi said the opportunity to pray together was made more valuable as, “It was a completely different Ramadhaan month, without contacts, without visits and without breaking the fast together.”
Ikea was widely praised for its compassion on social media. Amongst comments posted was Canadian journalist’s, Carly Agro: This is the love and kindness the world needs right now. Another person tweeted: What a lovely gesture. A true sign of hope in these difficult times. And yet another added: This is what finding solutions together and staying by each other through this crisis can look like!
Umm Muhammed Umar