12 MARCH 2020
1. About 90 Singaporeans had participated in a mass event in Kuala Lumpur from 27 Feb to 1 Mar 2020, which resulted in a number of individuals being tested positive for COVID-19. Muis has received information from the Ministry of Health (MOH) that there are Singaporean individuals who attended this event and have been tested positive. Muis is working closely with MOH to assist with the ongoing contact tracing efforts. MOH will be contacting the identified attendees to advise them on the follow-up required.
2. In addition, Muis understands that these individuals are regular congregants at various local mosques and are likely to have frequented these mosques since their return from KL. Thus, in order to prevent a sizable cluster of COVID-19 cases from breaking out in our mosques, Muis will be taking the following preemptive steps:
3. Communal activities such congregational prayers (daily and Friday) may expose congregants to transmission of the virus by unsuspecting infected individuals. The Fatwa Committee has released a fatwa on the permissibility of closing mosques and suspending the Friday congregational prayer where the need arises in the interest of public health and safety. This position is similar to that adopted by many international fatwa bodies in relation to COVID-19. Accordingly, with the concurrence of Mufti and the Fatwa Committee, Friday prayers at all mosques on 13 Mar 2020 will be suspended. Muslims should perform their regular noon (Zuhur) prayers in place of the congregational prayers. Friday messages will be disseminated online in place of the sermon. This is to ensure that the Muslim community continues to receive religious guidance and reminders even if mosques are closed and Friday prayers are suspended.
4. Muis wishes to emphasise that these are temporary measures to proactively minimise the possible spread of COVID-19 in our mosques. Muis continues to monitor the situation and will update the community accordingly. Muis seeks the support and the understanding of the Muslim community for such preemptive measures to safeguard public health and the well-being of all communities in Singapore. It is part of our religious and social responsibility to do so.
5. Muis advises the community to maintain best practices in hygiene and socially responsible behaviour during this period, and avoiding physical handshakes. We should continue to remain spiritually resilient and support each other, especially those who are vulnerable in our community.
MAJLIS UGAMA ISLAM SINGAPURA