Mosques to remain closed for another week

Azlan Othman

The temporary closure of mosques, suraus and religious halls is extended by another week until April 27. 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 yesterday. With this the closure enters the sixth week.

The closure coincides with the first days of Ramadhan where mosques, suraus and religious halls usually host Sunnat Tarawikh prayer and recitation of Tedarus Al-Quran.

Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin said it was 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 (MoRA) extended the closure for another week.

The extension to the temporary closure was decided at a Special Meeting of the Brunei Islamic Religious Council last Saturday based on recommendation from the Ministry of Health (MoH) to curb the spread of COVID-19 and in accordance with the State Mufti’s Fatwa 02/2020.

The Brunei Islamic Religious Council also decided that the public can hold religious events in their homes attended only by family members. The public must adhere to the guidelines issued by the MoH titled ‘Guidelines on mass gatherings, social events, meetings or training sessions’ on April 18.

Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin said when a Muslim is fasting during the day and enlivening the night with prayers and recitation of Al-Quran during Ramadhan, Allah the Almighty will grant forgiveness in the hereafter and lighten punishment.

The minister said the decision to extend the temporary closure of mosques, suraus and religious halls is a difficult one, especially during the month of Ramadhan.

Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin added they are aware that the temporary closure is part of the important steps to curb the COVID-19 outbreak and to safeguard the safety, well-being and welfare of all in the country.

Closed gates at Suri Seri Begawan Raja Pengiran Anak Damit Mosque in Kampong Manggis Madang. PHOTO: RAHWANI ZAHARI