14 July 2021
1. We note that there has been a video circulating over social media recently of a large crowd of people praying in congregation outside Masjid Sultan.
2. We would like to remind the community that congregational prayer should be done in mosques, with a valid booking. Mosques have clear and established safe management procedures to ensure the safe conduct of congregational prayers. Alternatively, one can also pray in congregation at home with family members.
3. In such a setting such as in the video, it will be very difficult to conduct contact tracing and take any remedial actions to curb subsequent infections.
4. COVID-19 community transmission remains a clear and present danger, especially with new and more infectious variants of the virus. Occasionally, we have seen cases of positive COVID-19 individuals visiting our mosques, such as the recent case at Masjid Al Abrar.
5. In addition, we also do not want to run the risk of mosques being shut down for violation of SMM procedures, for instance, where the congregation is participating in prayers outside of the mosque’s demarcated safe zones. Through the hard work and co-operation of the community, our mosques have managed to stay open since the circuit breaker, except for the occasional closure for cleaning.
6. We understand the community desires to return to the mosques for regular congregational prayers. However, we appeal for your patience and cooperation as the nation moves through Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) and we progressively offer more places safely in our mosques.
7. Over the past month, about 3,900 places have been added to our mosques, as more mosques have come on board the Safer Mosque programme. We will continue to increase the number of spaces in line with national vaccination rates.
8. As Mufti, Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, reminded the community when we first resumed congregational prayer in our mosques, “Our religion seeks to facilitate and not to burden believers beyond their capabilities. Religion is flexible, especially when especially when they are not able to live their religious life as normally they would. Muis has tried its very best with the mosque, operationally and religiously, to allow participation in congregational prayers in a safe and responsible way. There will be limitations, and I would like to urge everyone to be patient and play our part in ensuring that we get through this phase safely. Better times will come, and we can perform Friday prayers more frequently.”
MAJLIS UGAMA ISLAM SINGAPURA