The historic Jama Masjid will be closed for devotees with immediate effect till June 30 in view of "critical" conditions in the city due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the mosque's Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari said on Thursday.
Bukhari said he took the decision after consulting public and Islamic scholars.
The development comes after the Shahi Imam's secretary Amanullah died due to the novel coronavirus at the Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday night.
The Shahi Imam said, "If the situation arises where the human life is at risk, it becomes obligatory to protect ones life."
"Majority of the opinion is that saving of the human lives is paramount and the Shariah (Islamic jurisprudence) has ample excuse for this," he said.
After taking public opinion and consulting scholars, it has been decided that from 'maghrib' (sunset) on Thursday till June 30, no congregational prayers will be performed in the Jama Masjid, Bukhari said.
"A select few people shall perform the daily five times namaz while the general worshippers will perform the prayers at their homes," he added.
The mosque had opened on June 8 after a gap of over two months with the government allowing further relaxations as part of "Unlock-1", the first phase of a calibrated exit from the novel coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown.
As religious places along with several other establishments, like shopping malls and offices, opened across the country on June 8, Bukhari asked governments to reconsider their decision in view of the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
According to latest official figures, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi is over 32,000 including 984 deaths. The number of active coronavirus patients in the city is over 19,000.