Praying for patients: Video goes viral of interfaith prayer outside hospital in Cape Town

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A patient looks on from her hospital window in Cape Town while a mass prayer was underway outside the hospital.
A patient looks on from her hospital window in Cape Town while a mass prayer was underway outside the hospital.
Supplied by Esa Alexander
  • A video of a Cape Town-based faith group gathered outside a hospital to pray for Covid-19 patients is making the rounds on social media.
  • With restrictions placed on hospital visits, some patients are further feeling isolated from loved ones.
  • Hospitals are experiencing an influx of patients as the Western Cape battles a second wave of the coronavirus.

A heart-warming video has gone viral on social media, where people of all faiths are seen in supplication outside the Melomed Tokai hospital in Cape Town. 

Family members of patients admitted at the hospital requested prayers from religious leaders, and the Al Jeem Foundation responded, said Sheikh Hassan Yusuf Pandy.

"We were requested by relatives of the hospitalised-patients to share prayers with them," said Pandy about the interfaith public prayer.

"We have been doing this randomly since April, we've been to rehabs, cemeteries as well as areas on the Cape Flats."  

He said the gift of family and prayer is an essential part of showing empathy towards those suffering from the virus.  

"The mass prayer is a big deal to each individual present … when people get together to pray for the same cause, it forms a bond between different faiths and that's remarkable to be a part of," said 27-year-old Mansoor Joseph.

Joseph said, to him, one of the touching moments of the prayer, which was captured on video, shows a patient waving what looks like a white cloth from her window.

"The intensity of the prayer and emotions started pouring as we felt her struggle, and also the appreciation. It placed contentment in our hearts as we saw the acknowledgement and the support she needed."


Joseph said the hospital staff also showed their appreciation as they waved from a distance.

"The feeling of spiritual upliftment and connection with the patients and staff were definitely felt among our group of guys who rendered the prayer."

Esa Alexander, a member of the group and a news photographer, agreed, saying he was overwhelmed with tears on seeing the patient wave her cloth.

Pandy said more mass prayers can be expected.  

"We intend to continue this spiritually-uplifting events as we believe we're soul-beings and God is the healer and the guide for all creation."

'I sobbed like a baby'

Awaatif Salie, who suffered from Covid-19, said watching the viral clip hit close to home.

"It's been a week since my family and I came out of a two-week battle with Covid-19, so seeing that video is still very fresh for us. I sobbed like a baby.

"All we can do now is continue making duah (supplication to God) and ask Allah to relieve us from this virus completely."

Evan Thyssen said: "As a Christian, it is amazing to see how people from different cultural backgrounds came together as one to pray for the healing of all people of different religions.

"These people are not just coming to pray for people they love, but for people they don't even know … and that shows the heart we have for one another."

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