02 Apr 2020
A video is
massively viral on social media with the claim that people mass sneezed in
Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin mosque to spread coronavirus infection. Below is a
Facebook post by one Anita Saxena which has drawn 24,000 views and 1,700
clip has also been shared on Twitter.
#NizamuddinIdiots they are not idiots like Kanika Kapoor they have hidden agenda What are they practicing here pic.twitter.com/8dPOswu1JS
found that the video was earlier circulating in the Pakistani social media
ecosystem with the coronavirus claim. This tweet is from January 30. A YouTube
channel from Pakistan uploaded it a day earlier on January 29. It’s likely that
the video is older because Alt News was unable to trace the original. The first
case of coronavirus in India was reported on January 30.
reverse-image search of keyframes of the video led us to a March 4 tweet in
Urdu. The English translation of the text revealed the words “Sufi madness”.
الحمدلله الذي هدانا للإسلام ولمنهج السلف الصالح ،،
جنون الصوفية كيف يفعل بأتباعه !!
هل يذكرون الله كما يزعمون أم يتبادلون مرض الكورونا بعطاسهم الجماعي ؟!!😊#كورنا #الإسلام_السياسي
Our Research, We Made Certain Observations About The Clip:
1. It is
unlikely that people can voluntarily sneeze together so rapidly in
2. It looks
like they are loudly inhaling and exhaling air.
this and the above tweet, we performed a Google search with the keywords ‘Sufi
breathing’ which led us to several videos mentioning the word ‘Zikr’.
of Sufi organisation Ansari Qadiri Rifai Tariqa defines ‘zikr’ as a practice
where devotees remember God in unison. It can be performed in several ways
including “a traditional order in which Allah’s Names are mentioned in zikr,
and each one is repeated several, often hundreds of times in unison by the
group. Certain movements, such as swaying back and forth or turning from right
to left, are incorporated into the activity during the intonations, and are
likewise performed in unison. In some tariqas a prayerful rotation of the whole
body, arms extended while pivoting on one foot, is traditional.”
Below is a
video where people can be seen bending back and forth in a similar manner as in
the viral video while chanting ‘Allah’.
in the video viral on social media, people are repeatedly taking Allah’s name.
Readers are advised to wear earphones and listen to the audio in loops,
especially post the first 40 seconds.
with Alt News, Dr Hamid Akbar, a professor of Urdu at KBN University in
Karnataka’s Gulbarga said, “In the main four silsila (orders) of Sufism such
zikr is performed but it’s more sophisticated than this [viral video]. The
sound you hear, is saas ka zikr or zikr e-anfas which basically means taking
Allah’s name with your breath. If you listen closely, you can hear that they
are chanting ‘Allahu’ [in the video].”
the viral video is neither Nizamuddin mosque nor the Nizamuddin Dargah
added that he has never seen any ritual, as witnessed in the viral video,
practised in Tablighi Jamaat congregations which focus mainly on the importance
of namaz (Islamic prayers) and roja (fasting). The Tablighi Jamaat meet is
organised in Nizamuddin mosque which is also known as Tablighi Markaz or Bangle
(Sufi devotional music) are sung in the courtyard of Nizamuddin Dargah which is
about half a kilometre away from the mosque. However, the Dargah had earlier
distanced itself from Tablighi Jamaat when Aaj Tak had falsely claimed that 33
people sent for quarantine attended a program at the Dargah. “It is clarified
that the News is about Nizamuddin Tablighi Markaz and not of Dargah,” read the
Below is a
picture of the dargah where qawwali singers can be spotted sitting in the
a video of people practising a ritual in Sufism was falsely shared as
intentional sneezing inside Delh’s Nizamuddin mosque to spread the coronavirus
infection. Earlier, a video of Bohra Muslims practising the ritual of licking
utensils to not waste leftover food was also shared with the same claim.
has been identified as a coronavirus hotspot after several preachers of
Tablighi Jamaat tested positive in three different locations across the
country. The organisation led a congregation at its headquarters (Markaz)
Banglewali Masjid in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area in mid-March, for which the Delhi government
has now filed an FIR against a mosque preacher. Tablighi Jamaat maintains that
its gathering was not illegal because it was held before Prime Minister Modi
announced the first lockdown (Janata curfew) on March 22. However, the Delhi
government claims that its order banning large gatherings, issued on March 13,
was violated. Ironically, this was the same day when the Union Health Ministry
declared that COVID-19 was not a health emergency. The March 13 order, however,
did not extend to religious gatherings and only a subsequent order passed on
March 16 did. If reports are to be believed, the congregation was held between
March 8 to 15.
number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus in India is over 1,700 and
more than 50 deaths have so far been reported. The government has imposed a
complete restriction on movement apart from essential services to tackle the
pandemic. Globally, more than 8 lakh confirmed cases and over to 44,000 deaths
have been reported. There is a growing sense of panic among citizens, causing
them to fall for a variety of online misinformation – misleading images and
videos rousing fear or medical misinformation promoting pseudoscience and
invalid treatments. While your intentions may be pure, misinformation, spread especially
during a pandemic, can take lives. We request our readers to practice caution
and not forward unverified messages on WhatsApp and other social media
Headline: Video of Sufi Ritual Falsely Viral as Mass Sneezing in Nizamuddin Mosque
to Spread Coronavirus Infection
Source: The News Click