15 March 2023
Sufficient Safe Prayer Spaces at Our Mosques
1. As part of the resumption of religious activities with the easing of restrictions after the pandemic, Muis and mosques have monitored the attendance for Friday congregational prayers and studied past Tarawih prayer trends in pre-pandemic years and including when Tarawih prayers resumed in 2021 and 2022. After careful study, Muis has concluded that there will be sufficient prayer spaces at our mosques over the month of Ramadan.
Preparation for Tarawih Prayers by Qaryah
2. In Feb 2023, as part of early preparations for Ramadan, Muis and mosques issued support letters for Qaryah groups to organise tarawih prayers at 27 HDB void decks/multi-purpose halls (MPH). These letters were an administrative requirement for Qaryahs to conduct religious activities at these spaces, in addition to support letters and approvals from Town Councils and Grassroots Advisors.
3. After re-evaluation, Muis has concluded that there will be sufficient prayer spaces in our mosques during Ramadan. Accordingly, Muis and our mosques recently issued rescindment letters to the Qaryahs, as there was no longer any need for prayers to be conducted at void decks/MPHs.
4. Muis understands that some preparations have already been made by the Qaryahs. In addition to the rescindment letters, Muis has apologised to the Qaryahs, for the inconvenience caused. Muis and our mosques are deeply appreciative of the Qaryahs’ efforts and look forward to working with them to fulfil the religious needs of the community and strengthen our outreach.
Safe Spaces for Congregational Prayer
5. Based on the study of the figures for congregants returning to the mosque for prayers in the last three years, as well as attendance patterns in previous Ramadans pre-pandemic, we are confident that our mosques can take in the anticipated numbers of congregants for Isyak/Tarawih prayers. Mosques with high demand have taken additional efforts to create more prayer spaces within Designated Prayer Areas or DPA, and have also implemented, the mosque booking system to facilitate space and crowd management.
6. Our mosques have DPAs which are well-maintained, designed for safety and comfort, and comply fully with national safety guidelines. There is thus no necessity for congregational prayer to be conducted in public spaces which were not designed for that purpose and which may cause inconvenience to others.
7. Hence, we invite congregants to join prayers at the mosques, where Muslim worshippers can come together in unity during the blessed month of Ramadan. Mosques have taken the necessary steps to enable Jemaah to perform their prayers in a safe and comfortable manner within the DPAs, at the same time, avoid causing inconvenience to others. If worshippers are unable to make it to the mosques, they can still perform ibadah from the comfort of their own homes together with their family members. These are good practices that should continue as part of our ibadah even post pandemic.
Facilitating Jemaah with mobility concerns
8. Mosques will continue to fulfil the religious needs of the community including seniors and those with mobility concerns by providing barrier-free amenities such as lifts, ramps and handrails. This will enable all members of the community to have a comfortable experience in our mosques. A few mosques have also arranged for transportation to ferry Jemaah to the mosques.
9. Our mosques strive to be welcoming and accessible to all members of the community. Nonetheless, those that are not able to come to the mosques are also encouraged to perform their prayers at home with their families. Our Mosque Religious Officers (MROs) are ready to provide further guidance to the community.
10. We seek your continued understanding and support. Our community has been exemplary in demonstrating the value of rahmah, compassion and consideration throughout the pandemic. Let us continue to do so, throughout this blessed month of Ramadan and beyond.
MAJLIS UGAMA ISLAM SINGAPURA
Annex A - Quotes on Statement on Prayer Preparations for Ramadan 1444H