LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Churches and houses of worship have opened or are opening across the area. That includes mosques, which are Muslim places of worship. Muslim leaders in Louisville say they are cautiously opening back up.
Muslims typically pray five times a day, some go to the mosque to do those prayers. That all changed when mosques, like churches, were forced to close because of the pandemic.
Area mosques, including the Muslim Community Center off of Westport Road, opened up on Monday with new guidelines including limited prayer services and physical distancing measures. The Guiding Light Islamic Center off of Six Mile Lane will be doing the same. Opening back up on Wednesday starting with an evening and early morning prayer service.
"We are going to reopen very slowly," Khalid Awad from the Guiding Light Islamic Center said.
Awad says they will also be very careful. People coming to the Muslim Community Center and Guiding Light Islamic Center will have their temperatures taken before they come in, will need to wear a facemask, and bring their own prayer mat. When more than one Muslims prays, they stand closely to one another. That won’t be happening right now.
"We are making sure they are standing like six feet apart," Awad said.
Children under 12 are asked to stay home. At the Guiding Light Mosque only 100 people are allowed at any given time. Friday is a holy day for Muslims. It's called Jummah. Mosques are normally packed with worshipers for the afternoon prayer service. They won't be having this prayer service for now.
"It's extremely important to follow the guidelines," Awad said. "We are doing it to protect ourselves and everyone around us. We don't want them to contract the virus and take it to their families."
For the past month, Muslims have spent the month of Ramadan, where they fast from sunrise to sunset, with the mosques closed. The Muslim holiday that was celebrated over the weekend was even different this year due to social distancing. To accommodate, they’ve turned to virtual services like many other places of worship. Mosque leaders say they will continue to do that.