The head of Turkey’s Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), Ali Erbaş, led the Friday prayers in the southern province of Gaziantep on March 6 and gave tips to worshipers on how to stay safe from the novel coronavirus.
In his sermon, Erbaş advised citizens to pay attention to hygiene by recalling a hadith that says “Cleanliness is half of the faith (iman).”
“It is possible to receive God’s approval through only cleanliness. We should not forget that ritual ablution (abdest) is a unique cleanliness system and the precondition of prayers. Paying attention to body cleanliness, paying attention to oral and nail care and taking a bath at least once a week, especially on Fridays, is our Prophet’s Sunnah,” he said
“Viruses which threaten the four corners of the world lead to mass deaths. Thank God that our country has not encountered any case [of coronavirus], but we all have a responsibility to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” said Erbaş, giving a series of tips to avoid the virus.
He told worshipers to “scrub hands with soap a couple of times in a day,” “not to touch eyes, nose or mouth while hands are dirty,” “to consume a lot of water,” “to eat healthy and sleep well,” “to close mouth with handkerchief or elbow while sneezing or coughing,” to pay attention to “ventilation” inside the rooms and “to stay away from tobacco, alcohol, drugs and similar harmful substances which make body fragile to illnesses.”
Turkey has not reported any cases of coronavirus so far, although caution is advised due to their close proximity to countries reporting high cases of the virus.