MoRA extends mosque closure for a week

Azlan Othman

With the consent of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the Ministry of Religious Affairs informed that the temporary closure of mosques, suraus and religious halls nationwide scheduled to end last night, will continue for another week beginning tomorrow until March 30.

This was announced by Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman during the press briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak in the country yesterday.

The minister said, the measure is based on the advice and latest information from the Ministry of Health.

He said to minimise the risk of infection by prohibiting mass gathering, and guided by the State Mufti’s Fatwa No 02/2020 regarding the prevention of (avoiding) damage or harm, the Brunei Islamic Religious Council decided to extend the closure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

The minister added that, the call for prayer or Azan will continue as usual with mosque officials required to perform their duties. To enliven the mosque and continue to spread the teachings of Islam, the reading of prayers, Doa and Zikir before and after the prayers should also be echoed through the speakers.

Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman. PHOTO: JAMES KON
The temporary closure of mosques, suraus and religious halls nationwide scheduled to end last night, will continue for another week beginning tomorrow until March 30, the Ministry of Religious Affairs said yesterday. PHOTO: RAHWANI ZAHARI

The minister said assessments on the mosques and clean-up works in progress will be accelerated during the closing period.

The cleaning works will also be done in accordance to the guidelines by the Ministry of Health to ensure the mosque is safe to use again.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs expresses its appreciation to the public who welcomed the measure as well as provided feedback and suggestions regarding the mosque closures as prevention to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

It is appropriate for religious institutions especially mosques to promote cooperation and maintain unity by not only obeying but taking initiatives that are in line with the goals of avoiding the dangers facing us today, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin added.

“We need to stay calm, not to panic when facing the situation and obey all the instructions of the authorities while at the same time pray to Allah the Almighty for His protection.”

The minister said, several short prayer texts will be circulated and shared to the public and broadcast through various media and through radio and television that could be read together and practised on their own.

The minister reminded the public to take the opportunity to continue doing good deeds and acts of worship, especially with family members at home, and seek forgiveness from Allah the Almighty for any wrongdoings.