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Trial Run for More Spaces for Friday Prayer

3 August 2020

Additional zones offered at four mosques

1. The cautious re-opening of mosques and the resumption of Friday prayers for small numbers weekly since 26 June has met with success. Mosques have developed and successfully implemented safe management measures, and congregants have adapted well to new norms and behaved in a cooperative and responsible manner. Although there have been visits by asymptomatic individuals to a few mosques, there have not been cases of infection or clusters linked to mosques so far. With the limitation of 50 individuals per zone at one time, and holding up to three sessions every Friday, 46,030 people have managed to obtain slots and perform Friday prayer in the mosques so far. This is roughly 46% of the usual attendance for a Friday prayer. On 31 July, mosques were able to safely host a total of 17,860 congregants for both Hari Raya Prayer and the weekly Friday prayers.

2. As the nation allows more social and economic activities to resume, the Ministry of Community, Culture and Youth (MCCY) on 3 August 2020 has announced that it is piloting an increase in the limit for congregational and other worship services, from 50 persons to 100 persons in some places of worship, with necessary precautions in place to safeguard public health. This pilot will include the implementation of two zones of up to 50 persons each for congregational and other worship services in some places of worship.

3. Muis is now able to move towards gradually and safely increasing the spaces available for congregational prayer. On 7 August 2020, Muis will test a trial increase in four mosques, which will offer two zones of 50 persons each. The four mosques are Masjid Assyafaah, Masjid Mujahidin, Masjid Al-Istighfar and Masjid Al-Iman. Each mosque will continue to offer three sessions of Friday prayer. With this, an additional 600 places will be available for Friday prayer on 7 August 2020.

4. This trial is designed to test the readiness of the mosques and congregants to perform congregational prayers in larger numbers safely. In the future, with systems in place to ensure the smooth running of Friday prayers with this new limit, Muis will look into extending the trial beyond the four mosques, in line with MCCY guidelines on all places of worship.

5. The remaining 61 mosques currently offering congregational prayer will continue to operate one zone for each session of Friday prayer. Registration for slots for Friday prayers for all mosques will be open via the MuslimSG app and via https://ourmosques.commonspaces.sg from 10 a.m. on Tuesday 4 August 2020. The full list of mosques and prayer timings is listed as Annex A.

Prioritising Those Who Have Not Performed Friday Prayers

6. The main priority for the Muslim community is to provide opportunities for as many Muslims as possible to perform Friday prayers, especially for the very large number of Muslims (more than 50,000 individuals) who have not yet been able to secure a slot since the resumption of prayers in mosques on 26 Jun. As such, for the time being, registration will only be allowed for those who have not yet been able to perform Friday prayers in the mosque since the closure of mosques in March 2020. Congregants who managed to obtain a slot for the recent Hari Raya prayers but have not managed to get a slot for Friday prayers may register.

7. Vulnerable individuals (those aged above 60 and those exhibiting symptoms of acute respiratory infection as well as pre-existing chronic medical conditions) as well as children below the age of 12 are strongly encouraged to refrain from going to the mosque, and to perform their prayers at home instead.

8. Muis has found that some members of the public have made bookings but fail to turn up, thus depriving people of the prayer slots. Congregants who have obtained a slot but are unable to come for prayer are asked to cancel their bookings, so that others may have an opportunity to register. Congregants may cancel bookings at any time up to one hour before the reserved prayer session.

9. Those who have yet to attain a slot for Friday prayers are still given the flexibility, as advised by the Office of the Mufti, to replace Friday prayers with Zuhur prayers and then tune in to Friday sermons via SalamSG TV.

Safe Management Measures

10. All congregants are advised to adhere to the safe management measures in place, to keep our mosques safe. This includes not attending if unwell, taking wudhu before coming to the mosque, bringing your own prayer items (prayer mats and a shoe bag), wearing a mask, refraining from talking and physical contact with other congregants while in the mosque, maintaining safe distancing and practicing Safe Entry when entering and exiting the mosques.

Annex A - List of Mosques and Friday Prayer Timings on 7 August 2020