Penang And Johor Allow Friday Prayers After Recording Zero COVID-19 Cases For Weeks

Penang has been a green state for the past three weeks, while the last reported COVID-19 case in Johor was 10 days ago.

Cover image via Zura & Iwan Forever/Blogspot & AP Photo/Vincent Thian via Business Insider

Penang and Johor have allowed the people in the states to participate in weekly Friday prayers after receiving no new positive COVID-19 cases for weeks

Penang Mufti Datuk Seri Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor said the state has not issued an order to cancel Friday prayers, thus, they will allow the prayers to convene until a cluster is identified.

"If the situation gets out of hand (new COVID-19 cases detected), then we will order for the cancellation of Friday prayers," Wan Salim told New Straits Times.

"Now, there is no need for us to do that just yet."

However, the Mufti said those who participated in the tabligh gathering at Seri Petaling Mosque, held from 27 February to 1 March, are not allowed to enter any mosque in Penang.

According to him, there were some 30 Penangites who attended the gathering, which caused the largest COVID-19 cluster in the country.

Meanwhile, the Johor government has permitted Friday and Aidilfitri prayers at all mosques across the state

State Islamic religious affairs committee chairman Tosrin Jarvanthi said Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has given a decree in allowing prayers to convene despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Prayers involving the solemnisation of marriage, or akad nikah, are also allowed statewide, reported The Star.

"However, there will be guidelines in holding such prayers at mosques such as the congregation should not consist of more than 12 individuals at one given time," said Tosrin in a press conference today, 13 May.

"This includes the imam, the bilal, as well as the respective mosque committee where they will take turns in performing the prayers."

State Islamic religious affairs committee chairman Tosrin Jarvanthi.

Image via PLANMalaysia Johor/Facebook

Tosrin, who is also the Bukit Permai assemblyman, warned that all mosques must adhere to the new standard operating procedures introduced by the Johor Religious Islamic Department (JAINJ) and Ministry of Health under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

He said those who violate the guidelines will be shut down, adding that People's Volunteer Corps (RELA) officers will be monitoring each mosque to ensure they do not exceed the headcount limit.

"For other Muslims, they can still perform the prayers at their own home," he said.

The allowance to conduct Fridays prayers at both states come after the states recorded zero COVID-19 cases for over a week

Penang has been a green state for the past three weeks, while the last record of new COVID-19 cases in Johor was on 3 May - 10 days ago.

On Tuesday, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said Friday prayers at mosques can be performed, but on conditions that attendees and the management must follow the guidelines to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Dr Zulkifli is expected to present the guidelines tomorrow, 14 May, after discussions with the Cabinet and receiving approval from Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, the Conference of Rulers, and religious authorities.

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