Penang allows congregational, Friday and Raya prayers subject to SOPs

Penang says congregational and funeral prayers can begin tomorrow, and Friday prayers from June 26. (Bernama pic)

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has approved obligatory congregational and Friday prayers, Hari Raya Aidiladha prayers and funeral prayers for non-Covid-19 patients to be held, with the number of participants subject to the size of the mosque or prayer room.

Lecturing activities are also allowed and should also take into account the 1m social distancing measure, the Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAINPP) said.

Its president Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abd Rahman said the congregational and funeral prayers as well as lecturing activities could be held beginning tomorrow, while the Friday prayers will start from June 26, and Hari Raya Aidiladha prayers on July 31.

He said the decision was made after deliberation among the relevant parties, including the Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Department, the Penang Mufti Department and the state Health Department.

“The congregational, Friday and Hari Raya Aidiladha prayers can be attended by members of the ‘qariah’ (area around the mosque) and the general public aged 15 to 70, while those under 15 are not allowed. Those above 71 who are healthy may attend the prayers but are not encouraged to do so,” he said in a statement today.

Ahmad Zakiyuddin, who is also Penang deputy chief minister I, said permission was granted to congregants who did not have any Covid-19 symptoms such as fever, cough and cold. He said those at high risk and susceptible to diseases, including the elderly and people with asthma and chronic illnesses, were not allowed to attend the prayers.

“For funeral prayers of those who are not Covid-19 patients, only family members of the deceased and members of the qariah (are allowed to attend), while for Friday prayers, there must be at least 40 congregants to fulfill the obligatory criteria (to carry out the prayer), and they must be Malaysian citizens,” he said.

He said lectures were allowed to be held between Magrib and Isyak prayers daily, while those after the dawn and Asar prayers were only allowed every Saturday and Sunday, and limited to 20 minutes a session.

In addition, special prayer space for travelling Muslims will be allowed at mosques or surau from 6am to 9.30pm.

Ahmad Zakiyuddin said the “ibadah korban”, or animal sacrifice, was also allowed, subject to adherence with the standard operating procedures (SOPs).