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Adhere to health guidelines during religious ceremonies

Azlan Othman

Muslims should adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs) at religious venues during prayers and religious ceremonies in the month of Ramadhan, said Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman during a press conference yesterday.

The minister said SOPs for daily prayers should be followed for Sunnat Tarawih prayers. While both male and female congregations are allowed for Sunnat Tarawih prayers, children aged 11 and below are not.

SOPs for mosque activities should also be followed for Tedarus Al-Quran, Khatam Al-Quran and religious talks in Ramadhan, where mosques can have congregations up to 100 per cent of the prayer hall or 300 people – whichever is lower.

The minister said for Qiamullail (nightly vigil at mosques), it is allowed with the supervision of mosque officials and committee members. Meanwhile for sungkai and sahur, buffets are not allowed and food can only be served through take-away or dome table basis.

The minister said the payment of Zakat Fitrah can be made inside or outside the mosque while for the Sunnat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri prayer, the SOPs of the Friday prayer must be followed with only men allowed.

The minister said as part of social distancing, congregants at mosques, suraus and religious halls are advised to keep their large-sized prayer mat one foot apart. In the meantime, the SOPs in mosques, suraus and religious halls are still in effect, as determined by the COVID
Steering Committee.

Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin called on Muslims to trust and pray to Allah the Almighty so that the people in the country will always be under the protection of Allah the Almighty.

File photo of the Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan
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