Friday sermons to be shortened

Azlan Othman

Mosques, suraus and prayer halls will be equipped with hand sanitisers as preventive measures today during the Friday prayer while Imams are urged to shorten Khutbah or the Friday sermon and verses to curb the spread of COVID-19 virus.

Friday sermon in Brunei is normally around 10 minutes compared to other countries which takes around 30-45 minutes.

Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman said this to the media yesterday. He added that mosques, suraus and prayer halls will also be cleaned after the Friday congregation.

If one wants to bring their own prayer mat or to make Wudhu or ablutions at home, it is also recommended. They can also follow the type of greetings – minimal or non-contact – as circulated in the social media.

The minister also said Friday prayer is Fardhu Ain and obligatory for Muslims to perform unless if one is Uzur Syarie.

Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman and Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar at the press conference yesterday. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

Uzur Syarie is a matter that can become an excuse for a Muslim not to perform Friday prayer like in the current situation which can bring harm to an individual or others.

For the time being, such excuse can be used until a further approach is available.

The minister also said Fardhu Ain obligation can become void if a person develops symptoms of COVID-19 or have fever and runny nose.

The minister also said those who are quarantined or isolated at Isolation Centre are also excused from performing the Friday prayer but they are obliged to perform the five obligatory prayers instead.

The minister said orders must be followed and Muslims should intensify supplications or Doa in which the Friday sermon will touch on.

On other public inquiry concerning public gathering like attending wedding reception, the minister said such matters can be referred to the authorities like the Ministry of Health.

Any orders or guidelines are obliged to be followed, the minister said.