Srinagar, Jan 16: With the resurgence of COVID cases in Jammu and Kashmir, the local mosque committees in Valley have risen up to the occasion by spending hefty amount of their “Bait-ul-Maal”- a centralised system of pooling zakaat money, for procuring lifesaving equipment and other items required to deal with COVID situation and to spend part of the reserve fund to meet the basic needs of the “destitute” in the society.
The Grand Mufti of Kashmir, Nasir-ul-Islam said that the Masjid committees are spending hefty amount from Bait-ul-Maal to procure these essential lifesaving equipment and tools to save the precious human lives.
Nasir said that a few days back he had instructed the concerned Masjid committee members to constitute more COVID-19 relief committees and procure more oxygen concentrators and other life-saving tools.
“We have already communicated that some amount of Bait-ul-Maal should be utilized to address the prevailing situation of the pandemic,” he said.
Nasir said that the request to spend some amount from Bait-ul-Maal was made to procure the lifesaving equipment and tools for the respective mosques to save the lives of COVID-19 infected patients.
“The idea is to ensure that in case of emergencies, the COVID-19 patient who does not necessarily require going to the hospital can utilize the equipment without any problem,” he added.
“I don’t have the exact figures as to how many committees were utilizing the funds of Bait-ul-Maal during the prevailing pandemic situation, but more than hundred committees are already practicing it and are procuring lifesaving equipment and tools,”
Nasir said that he has received several calls from the various Masjid heads of Kashmir valley to confirm as to whether the Bait-ul-Maal funds can be used in this regard.
“Masjid committees can spend the amount reserved in Bait-ul-Maal in saving the precious human lives which is more important than constructing or building a Masjid,” he said.
He further added, “I don’t have the exact figures as to how many committees were utilizing the funds of Bait-ul-Maal during the prevailing pandemic situation, but more than hundreds of committees are already practicing it and are procuring life-saving equipment and tools.”
He further said that the Bait-ul-Maal was basically meant for the public utility especially for the persons or individuals belonging from underprivileged backgrounds.
“The basic concept of the Zakat is to benefit the society so that the people of the society belonging from the underprivileged background won’t suffer,” Nasir said.
He said that the prevailing situation of pandemic is the “time of emergency and we should not set principles on this subject.”
One of the members of a trust Humanity First—a Bait-ul-Maal at Balgarden, Dr Muzaffar Ahmad Baig said that they have procured 53 concentrators from the reserved funds that include nearly 15 concentrators of 10 liters and the rest are of five liters.
He said, “During the second wave of the pandemic, their Bait-ul-Maal committee has procured 53 concentrators and more than 350 COVID-19 patients have availed them.”
Ahmad added that procuring the lifesaving equipment during the times of pandemic was very important to “save humanity”.
“I believe in the ongoing pandemic, all local Masjid committees should work for the sake of humanity,” he said.
Meanwhile, the associate member of Salfia Masjid in Sonwar Srinagar, Ali Mohammed Bhat said that the committee of the Masjid has procured various life- saving gears and other equipment, not only for the COVID-19 patients but to others also who are in its urgent need.
Bhat said that the Masjid has so far purchased three Oxygen concentrators. “The committee has also provided lifesaving equipment like medicines, protection kits and medicines to COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.
Besides this, the committee has been helping the needy COVID-19 patients with the reserve funds of Bait-ul-Maal.
Likewise, Chairman of Masjid Jamia Hanfia Abu (RA) Natipora Mohammad Shafi Mir said the committee of the masjid is working dedicatedly to save humanity during the pandemic.
“During this pandemic, we are donating some amount of Bait-Ul-Maal to the jobless persons and the underprivileged families. Besides, the masjid committee is also helping the COVID-19 patients who require some amount to procure medicines and other things for them,” Mir said.
He said that most of the funds of Bait-ul-Maal nowadays are being used to deal with the ongoing prevailing situation of the pandemic.
Pertinently, scores of local Masjid committees are gearing up to procure the lifesaving equipment to deal with the pandemic.
In the meantime, the locals of various areas said that most of the people are avoiding congregational prayers to prevent spreading of the virus.
One of the locals of Nawakadal, Javid Ahmad said, “During the second wave of the pandemic, most of the people in the area are avoiding congregational prayers and offer prayers at their homes.”
He said it has been more than one and a half months since he offered Nimaz in Masjid.
“Masses have to play an important role by motivating others to observe recommended standard operating procedures of COVID-19 especially those who are ignorant about the deadly virus,” Ahmad said.
Another local of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district Abdul Rashid said that it is for the good-will of the society if one is avoiding offering congregational prayers during this pandemic.
“Locals of the respective area should think about the best interest of the people in general. During this pandemic it is best for the people to avoid offering congregational prayers, Rashid said, adding, “This is one of the best ways to prevent spreading of the virus.”
The local Masjid Committee members told Rising Kashmir that the people here are very kind in terms of donating the funds and other goods to help the under-privileged families.
“Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Kashmir, scores of youth have been on the forefront to collect the funds for the needy. They have been also helping the families of COVID-19 patients,” the Masjid committee members said.
The committee members further said that the well-to-do families of Kashmir also had a big hand in helping the needy during the pandemic by voluntarily lending a hand to the COVID-19 patients and underprivileged families.