Bruneians return to mosques for Friday prayers after two months

Azlan Othman & Syazwani Hj Rosli

Bruneians returned to mosques for the first Friday prayers in over two months yesterday, while continuing to observe social distancing and other guidelines from the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Congregants were seen wearing face masks, as they lined up to have their BruHealth QR codes scanned and temperatures checked.

Members of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) and the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF), along with volunteers and mosque Takmir committee members were on standby, to facilitate the flow of congregants at the entrance points.

At Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah in Kampong Kiarong, smart helmet scanning was used to check body temperatures from a distance.

Once inside the mosques, the congregants placed their prayer mats about one metre apart, in keeping with physical and social distancing measures.

One congregant said that the measures made him feel safer compared to being at shopping malls or the market-place, among large crowds.

Muslim congregants perform Friday prayer at Suri Seri Begawan Raja Pengiran Anak Damit Mosque while practising social distance as mosques, religious halls and suraus re-opened for Friday prayers yesterday. PHOTO: DK
Smart helmet is used to scan congregants’ body temperature at Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah. PHOTO: RAHWANI ZAHARI
ABOVE & BELOW: Photos show congregants performing Friday prayers while keeping physical distance; and personnel conducting QR code scan and body temperature checks at mosques’ entry points. PHOTOS: RAHWANI ZAHARI / MUIZ MATDANI / AZLAN OTHMAN / MRSB

Meanwhile, members of Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Mosque Takmir Committee also welcomed hundreds of congregants for the Friday prayer, while implementing thorough preparation by ensuring that the standard operating procedures from the MoH are
well-observed.

In the first Friday sermon since the closure of mosques on March 17, Imams recommended the Muslim community to be patient in complying with the directives issued by the MoH, to minimise the risk of a new wave of infections.

“Islam encourages the Ummah to be steadfast in carrying out acts of piety and good deeds, in prohibiting wrongdoings and in obeying Allah the Almighty,” said Imams in delivering the sermon.

“Such people are not easily disheartened when suffering losses, as they know that everything belongs to Allah the Almighty.”

The sermon also highlighted the critical duties of the RBAF, which celebrates its 59th anniversary tomorrow, “The personnel have the important task of defending the nation against all threats and intrusions from enemies who could disrupt our security, welfare and sovereignty.

“Let us pray together that the members of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces will be steadfast in performing their duties with honesty, trustworthiness, sincerity and dedication. May they always be aided and protected by Allah the Almighty.”