20 March 2021
Safe Management Measures will remain in place; Continue to focus Ramadan activities at home.
1. Over the past year, there have been many adjustments to the religious life of Singapore Muslims, from daily and weekly congregational prayer services, religious education classes, major religious activities and new religious norms arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. These adaptations were guided by religious advice from the Fatwa Committee and the Office of the Mufti, and the Singapore Muslim community has adapted well to the changes required during this pandemic.
2. Since June 2020, congregational prayers have progressively resumed in mosques, in line with the guidelines for religious activities provided by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY). Prayers and other activities are conducted with safe distancing, shortened duration, enhanced cleaning regimens, separate entrances and exits, as well as adoption of Trace Together application for contact tracing. Spaces are made available through an online booking system, which was designed to be easy to use, and to prioritise those who have not secured a slot in recent weeks.
3. This year, Muslims in Singapore are expected to observe Ramadan from 13 Apr to 12 May. With mosques being able to resume more worship services, the Muslim community can look forward to limited Ramadan worship services being held in mosques this year. Nevertheless, as Singapore is still in phase 3 of re-opening, there is still a need to maintain the current safe management measures. The community is still encouraged to observe Ramadan activities with their families at home, in view of limited spaces at mosques, and to access online content and services that will be stepped up.
Limited Ramadan activities
Breaking of Fast (Buka Puasa)
4. Due to limited spaces available at mosques, Muslims are encouraged to break their fast at home and perform their prayers with their families. Those who are able to book Maghrib prayers at the mosque will be provided dates and water to break their fast individually. There will be no communal breaking of fast at mosques as part of its adherence to the safe management measures to minimise risks of community transmission.
5. Mosques will be conducting terawih prayers and bookings for these prayer spaces will be done online. Terawih prayers will be limited to a total of 1 hour and will follow the approved safe management measures of each mosque. The number of prayer spaces will vary at each mosque, subject to the number of zones available. Dedicated spaces for female jemaah will be made available at some mosques. The terawih prayers will begin right after Isyak prayers.
6. There will be 3 booking windows throughout Ramadan to correspond with the first, second and last 10 days of Ramadan. Each window will offer about 84,000 prayer spaces. Each person will be initially limited to one booking per window, to allow more congregants to visit the mosques. Booking will open a few days before the start of each window.
Qiyamullail (Night Prayers)
7. Qiyamullail (night prayers) will also be conducted at selected mosques during the last 10 days of Ramadan. Due to limited spaces provided as outlined in each mosques' safe management plans, booking for night prayers via the online booking system will be required. Dedicated spaces for female jemaah will be made available at some mosques. There will be no sleepover at mosques and pre-dawn meals are not provided.
8. Two booking windows will be made available for the last 10 days of Ramadan for Qiyamullail, with 25,000 spaces available for each window. Each jemaah will be allowed to book once per window, and booking will open few days before the start of each window.
9. More details on when bookings can be made, and the timing of prayers, etc., will be shared closer to Ramadan.
10. Other activities such as Tadarrus (daily Quran reading) and Khatamul Quran will be allowed at mosques, with adherence to safe management plan similar to the daily prayer at mosques.
11. To minimise risks of community transmission, Muis and mosques will only organise prayers during Ramadan and Hari Raya Puasa within mosque premises which will ensure proper adherence with the strict safe management measures. As the practice last year, prayers typically held at void decks and other open areas (e.g. stadiums) will not be organised.
Focus on Ramadan Activities with Families & Online Services
12. To minimise risk of transmission, the community is encouraged to focus on Ramadan activities with their family members at home.
13. More mosque programmes and talks will be made available through online platforms. Muis will work with mosques to make more programmes available online via SalamSG TV and other mosques' social media platforms.
14. Muslims are also encouraged to continue paying zakat and making donations via online means. Zakat payment can be made via Zakat.sg, and the community can continue to make donation to the centralised donation portal OurMasjid.SG to support mosque operational costs.
15. To help our seniors familiarise with various mobile applications, mosque booking and other online digital services, the Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation (RLAF) is partnering with mosques in a Digital Transformation for Seniors programme to provide digital learning and support to senior members of the community in using technology with confidence.
Continued Support For Low-income Families
16. Mosques will continue to support low-income households who are recipients of zakat assistance during Ramadan. Social development officers and the network of mosque befrienders will continue to reach out to families on long-term zakat financial assistance. Zakat financial assistance will remain available from the 31 Social Development Mosques islandwide.
Ensuring Safe Resumption of Religious Life
17. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Office of the Mufti has been providing the appropriate religious guidance to ensure the community can continue to practise and fulfil religious obligation in a safe manner.
18. For this Ramadan, the Office of the Mufti will be releasing a handbook to guide the Muslim community navigate Ramadan through this pandemic period. The booklet will provide answers on religious queries and guidance related to the COVID-19, as raised by the public.
Vaccination and Nasal Swab Test
19. The Ramadan booklet also addresses queries on vaccinations and nasal swab test during Ramadan. Vaccination does not invalidate the fast and the community is encouraged to take the COVID-19 vaccine when they are given the opportunity to do so. Nasal swab test is permissible and would not invalidate the fast.
20. As we are still navigating the pandemic, Muis still strongly emphasises the importance of a cautious approach as more religious activities are resuming, and the need for the close cooperation of the community.
21. We seek the support and understanding of the Muslim community to continue to be socially responsible, to show compassion and support to mosques' staff and volunteers and safeguard public health as we perform our religious obligations in our mosques.
MAJLIS UGAMA ISLAM SINGAPURA