Singapore

Friday prayers to resume in mosques with 50-person limit per session

This article is more than 12 months old

Muslims will be able to return to most mosques on Friday for congregational prayers that will be limited to 50 people a session.

Mosques will provide two half-hour prayer sessions every Friday, with a half-hour interval between the sessions to ensure safe crowd management, said the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) yesterday.

The Muis announcement comes after the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth said last Friday that congregational and other worship services can resume from Friday provided the necessary precautions are in place to reduce physical interaction.

Yesterday, Muis said congregants will have to reserve prayer spaces for daily and Friday congregational prayers using an online prayer booking system at ourmosques.commonspaces.sg

Those without a booking, which will be on a first-come, first-served basis, will not be allowed into the mosques.

Each person can book only one slot for Friday prayers every three weeks. This is to allow more worshippers to perform their Friday prayers, said Muis.

Sermons and prayers will be shortened to a maximum of 20 minutes.

When delivering sermons, imams will stand at least 2m away from the first row, and will be required to wear a face shield.

Congregants will also have to pray in marked individual spaces 1m apart.

Muis said congregants should not mingle with others and should leave the mosque immediately after the prayer session.

They will need to check in via SafeEntry using their NRIC or foreign identification card number. They are also strongly encouraged to use the TraceTogether app, said Muis.

Enhanced safe management measures will be in place, including requiring worshippers to have personal prayer items such as prayer mats, praying garment for women and sarongs for men. They must wear masks at all times when in the premises, including during prayers.

Fans will also be used at prayer halls for better air circulation and to reduce the possibility of aerosol transmission from recycling of air from air-conditioning systems, said Muis.

Those unable to obtain a slot for the Friday prayers can perform the regular noon prayer, known as zuhur, in place of the Friday prayers, said the Fatwa Committee.

Seniors aged 60 and above and children under 12 are strongly discouraged from attending Friday prayers at the mosque for the time being.

The 30 mosques offering social development programmes and providing zakat financial assistance will continue to support families in need during phase two. Weekend Islamic learning classes for children will continue to be conducted via home-based learning. Religious talks and lectures will continue to be conducted online.

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