Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Eight weeks after Friday prayers and congregational prayers were prohibited nationwide, following the spread of Covid-19, this religious obligation was allowed beginning yesterday, at mosques and selected surau in the Covid-19 green zones.

However, the Friday prayers must be conducted in accordance with standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the National Security Council (NSC) and the Ministry of Health (MOH), among them, only a limited number is allowed to attend, to prevent large gatherings at the mosque.

A check by Bernama in the capital city, saw that guards were stationed at the entrance of the National Mosque to ensure that visitors filled in their personal details and their body temperature were taken before being allowed into the mosque.

Once they were in the prayer hall the same procedures were repeated.

In the prayer hall, there were markings on the floor to show the one-metre distance to indicate where each person should stand when performing the Friday prayers.

The sermon was completed within 15 minutes and the Sunnah Qobliyah dan Ba’diyah prayers were not performed to reduce the duration of the Friday prayers.

In PERLIS, 105 mosques in the state began holding the conditional Friday prayers after the government granted permission for Friday prayers to resume during the conditional movement control order (CMCO) on May 8.

The Friday prayers including the sermon should also not take more than 15 minutes and members of the congregation, including the imam must not exceed 12 persons.

At the State Mosque in Arau yesterday, Perlis Mufti, Assoc Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin read a sermon entitled ‘Patience in the Face of Disaster’ while the Friday prayers was led by chief imam Ahmad Sirajuddin Abdul Satar.

In SELANGOR, a check on three mosques around Shah Alam which had been given permission to hold Friday prayers, saw no members of the public present among the congregation, in accordance with the decision taken by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) yesterday.

At the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque which is the state mosque, only one gate, controlled by JAIS authorities and guards of the mosque, was opened to allow the mosque committee and imam to enter.

In PERAK, chief imam of the Sultan Azlan Shah Mosque in Ipoh, Syed Mohd Muzzaffar Syed Azlan, was happy to be able to lead the Friday prayers again yesterday.

He proposed that the members of the congregation be given turns, as the Council of Islamic Religion and Malay Customs Perak (MAIPk) only allowed 12 people, including the imam and mosque committee members, to attend Friday prayers.

He said the rotation system should be considered as most mosque and surau committee members are over the age of 60 and based on MAIPk guidelines, people of this age group are not encouraged to be among the congregation.

In JOHOR, the Sultan Iskandar Mosque at Bandar Dato’ Onn in Johor Bahru saw 12 congregants present for Friday prayers in accordance with the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the state government.

The group had to go through two body temperature checks at the gate and the mosque entrance, apart from adhering to the social distancing regulation while in the mosque.

In PAHANG, the Regent Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah was among members of the congregation during Friday prayers at the Sultan Ahmad 1 State Mosque here.

Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim who arrived at the mosque accompanied by Tengku Panglima Raja Tengku Amir Nasser and Tengku Panglima Muda Tengku Ahmad Ismail Muadzam Shah at 1pm, was greeted by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail and state administrative officers.

The 40 members kept to the one-metre distance while performing the Friday prayers, which was led by first imam Mohd Khalil Mohd Zari, while the sermon was delivered by chief imam Datuk Badli Shah Alauddin.

Pahang Islamic Religious Department (JAIP) director Datuk Syed Ahmad Fuad Syed Taha said besides the state mosque, the two other mosques which have been granted permission to hold Friday prayers in the state are the International Islamic University (UIA) Mosque and Sultan Ahmad Shah Islamic College Mosque in Kuantan.

In KELANTAN, only four mosque officials including two imams performed the Friday prayers at the Sultan Muhammad II Mosque in Telipot, Kota Bharu. Social distancing was observed and the prayers lasted 15 minutes.

In NEGERI SEMBILAN, 12 people were present at the State Mosque in Seremban to perform Friday prayers as set by the Negeri Sembilan Islamic Religious Council (MAINS). 

Imam Muttaqin Mohd Fakiri who led the prayers and delivered a sermon entitled ‘Enliven Ramadan With Your Family’ reminded those present to take the opportunity during this Ramadan to better themselves and their family members in order to lead more meaningful, secure and comfortable lives. – Bernama