Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri

PUTRAJAYA: The current Covid-19 situation in the country, which is still under control, does not require Friday prayers to be suspended, Religious Affairs Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (JPM) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri.

In fact, he said the Friday congregational prayers, which are obligatory for all Muslim males, should proceed with some adjustments, such as by shortening the Friday sermon.

“Members of the congregation are also advised to make ablutions at home and wear facemasks, while the mosque committee to provide hand sanitisers as part of preventive measures.

“Those showing symptoms of Covid-19, however, need not attend the prayers, as they are categorised as those who are sick,” he told a press conference after delivering his inaugural message to all religious agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department at Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque here yesterday.

Also present was his deputy Ahmad Marzuk Shaary. 

Zulkifli said Friday prayers could only be cancelled and replaced by Zohor prayers in a situation where the pandemic spreads uncontrollably in the country.

The former Federal Territories Mufti said it is also subject to the pandemic showing its impact on the area or having many of the members of the congregation being tested positive for Covid-19 and restriction issued by the relevant authorities, such as the Ministry of Health.

To avoid any confusion, Zulkifli said guidelines on the matter would be issued by JPM soon.

Penang Mufti Datuk Seri Dr Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor was recently reported as saying that the government should take all necessary measures to prevent the disease from spreading and endangering the health and lives of the people including temporarily suspending congregational prayers and Friday prayers.

Meanwhile, Zulkifli said the JPM had also prepared a proposal on issues related to Covid-19, such as Friday prayers, handshake, wedding reception and ghusl bathing (for the deceased).

“InsyaAllah, we will submit it to Fatwa Council to be finalised soon,” he said. – Bernama