Mosques to resume congregational worship from Jun 26, online booking required

Mosques to resume congregational worship from Jun 26, online booking required

(az) Masjid Angullia safe distancing
FILE PHOTO: Demarcated individual prayer areas have been introduced in the prayer hall of Masjid Angullia as the mosque prepares to welcome worshippers in the Phase  1 of Singapore's post-circuit breaker period. (Photo: Islamic Religious Council of Singapore) 

SINGAPORE: Mosques will resume congregational worship services from Friday (Jun 26) with online booking required due to a limit on the number of individuals permitted per session. 

Each mosque will offer two Friday prayer sessions, with 50 congregants per session.

Mosques will also offer daily congregational prayers with 50 slots for each of the five daily prayers, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) said on Sunday.

To keep up with the demand, MUIS said it has developed an online booking system for the congregational prayer slots. 

Slots will be offered for the first three weeks on Jun 26, Jul 3 and Jul 10.

"For these three weeks, individuals are allowed only one slot for now, to allow more members of the community the opportunity to perform Friday prayers," MUIS said.

Booking for congregational prayers will open on Wednesday at 9am. 

MUIS said in a media release that only congregants with a valid booking will be admitted into the mosque. 

READ: Worship services may resume with up to 50 people at a time in Phase 2 of Singapore's reopening

As the risk of COVID-19 transmission at mosques remains high, MUIS said mosques will implement a comprehensive safe management plan for the safety of all congregants. 

"Congregants are strongly encouraged to take their wudhu before coming to the mosque," MUIS said in a Facebook post. 

They should also adhere to necessary measures such as wearing their masks at all times and maintaining a safe distance including when performing prayers. 

Congregants should bring their own personal prayer items and bags for their footwear, as well as avoiding physical contact with others.

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

Congregants will pray in marked designated individual spaces 1m apart and should leave the mosque immediately after the prayer sessions. 

"To enable more congregants to perform the Friday prayers, two half-hour prayer sessions will be held every Friday, with about a half-hour interval between the two sessions, to ensure safe crowd management," MUIS added. 

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

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MUIS said the Fatwa Committee has also provided guidance for those who are unable to obtain a slot to perform Friday prayers, as well as the continued concessions given vulnerable groups and those who are unable to obtain slots due to the limited numbers available.

The committee strongly advised children and vulnerable groups like the elderly and those with chronic respiratory ailments to continue to pray at home for their own safety.

"Each and everyone of us is responsible to protect the safety and well-being of fellow congregants and the general public. Let us all do our part," said MUIS. 

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Source: CNA/lk

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