Congregants return to mosques for daily prayers

Lyna Mohamad & Aziz Idris

With no new COVID-19 cases recorded in Brunei Darussalam, restrictions are slowly being eased for a return to normalcy prior to the outbreak.

One key element to achieving that normality was the re-opening of mosques across the country for the five daily prayers.

Yesterday, the Muslim community returned to their daily routine of performing prayers in congregation, especially for the Subuh, Maghrib and Isyak prayers.

Congregants were reminded to comply with the health regulations issued by the Ministry of Health, such as wearing face masks, scanning their BruHealth QR codes, and bringing their own prayer mats and hand sanitisers.

Rahim bin Yahya, a congregant at the Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah in Kiarong, expressed his gratitude at being able to perform the daily prayers once more in a congregation.

He also thanked 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 for giving consent to the re-opening of mosques for the obligatory prayers.

“I feel so blessed with the lifting of the restrictions, as I usually perform my daily prayers at mosque in between work. I hope my fellow congregants will comply with the health guidelines.”

Haji Tasad bin Ali, who frequently worships at the Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque in the capital, also expressed relief at being able to perform his daily prayers there.

“The announcement made by Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar really brightened my spirit and also that of my fellow congregants,” he said. Among the congregants at the Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque yesterday was senior citizen Hajah Hasnah binti Abdullah, who praised the stringent measures carried out by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

“They made sure to take care of public safety, while carrying out precautionary measures with full responsibility and integrity,” she said.

One of the congregants at the Ash-Shaliheen Mosque lauded the move towards easing restrictions, saying, “It allows me the convenience of performing the Zohor prayers. In the period when the mosques were closed, I had to drive home during lunch break and perform my Zohor prayers there individually.”

Congregants praying while adhering to physical distancing at a mosque. PHOTO: AZIZ IDRIS