SINGAPORE: Limited Hari Raya Haji prayers will be conducted at 65 mosques next week for congregants who are able to book slots, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) announced on Friday (Jul 24) in a media release.
A total of 8,750 slots will be made available. Forty-five mosques will offer three sessions, while another 20 will offer two sessions on the morning of Jul 31.
Acknowledging the "smooth conduct" of Friday prayers in recent weeks as well as safe management measures in mosques, MUIS said that congregants would be able to register for slots via the MuslimSG app and online from 1pm next Monday.
“Registration is open to all regardless of whether they have previously opened a slot for Friday prayer in the preceding weeks,” MUIS said.
However as places are limited, those who are unable to obtain a booking are encouraged to conduct prayers at home and tune in to the live broadcast of the Hari Raya Sermon by Mufti Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, it said.
The council also asked vulnerable individuals such as seniors, children below the age of 12 and those exhibiting acute respiratory symptoms to refrain from going to the mosque.
The Hari Raya Haji sermon will also be broadcast on SalamSH TV in Malay with English subtitles, as well as on Mediacorp Warna 94.2FM.
The Mufti will deliver his sermon after leading prayer at 8.30am at Masjid Maarof. SalamSG TV and Warna will also broadcast the takbir before the Hari Raya Haji prayer.
For the benefit of the Indian Muslim community, the sermon will also be delivered in Tamil by Masjid Jamae Chulia and Masjid Al Abrar via their Facebook platforms and on Bisme Radio.
Masjid Malabar will broadcast the sermon in Malayalam, said MUIS, while the sermon will also be delivered in Bengali on SalamSG TV at 9.30am.
FRIDAY PRAYERS TO CONTINUE
As Hari Raya Haji falls on a Friday, two congregational prayers will be held in the mosques.
The 65 mosques offering Friday prayers will continue to do so, with the same timings and with safe distancing measures in place, MUIS said.
Those who are able to secure a slot for Hari Raya Haji prayer will not need to perform the Friday prayer and may instead perform the Zuhur prayer and listen to the sermon online, it added.
Individuals who secure a slot for Friday prayer will not be eligible for a slot for Hari Raya Haji prayers.
Additionally, those who have performed Friday prayers at the mosque before Jul 31 will also not be able to register for a space, in order to provide more opportunities for those who are yet to do so.
“Although the majority of scholars from the Shafiee, Hanafi and Maliki schools of thought are of the opinion that Friday prayer is still wajib (compulsory) for those who have performed Hari Raya prayers on the morning of the day, the office of the Mufti has advised that this opinion is best applied during normal situations where space and other similar limitations are not an issue,” said MUIS.
“The main priority for the Muslim community is to provide opportunities for as many Muslims as possible to perform Friday prayers, especially those who have not been able to perform them since the resumption of Friday prayers in mosques after the lifting of COVID-19 circuit breaker measures.”
MUIS also urged those who have obtained slots but are unable to attend to cancel their bookings so that others can have the opportunity to register.
Congregants were also asked to adhere to safe management measures such as not attending prayers if unwell, wearing a mask and bringing their own prayer items.