The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) announced on March 12 a total closure of all mosques in Singapore to assist the Covid-19 containment efforts.
MUIS also announced that the Fatwa Committee has issued a fatwa, a ruling on a point of Islamic law, to close the mosques and suspend the Friday congregational prayer on March 13, 2020.
Mosques to close
Four mosques have already been closed as of 1pm on Thursday, March 12:
- Masjid Muttaqin
- Masjid Kassim
- Masjid Hajjah Fatimah
- Masjid Jamae Chulia
Beginning on March 13, all mosques in Singapore will be closed as a precautionary measure until the end of March 17, a period of five days.
They will undergo cleaning and disinfection measures.
This measure was taken after a religious event held at a mosque in Kuala Lumpur, which was attended by over 10,000 people, was linked to confirmed cases of Covid-19.
One of the attendees was the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in Brunei.
According to MUIS, the Ministry of Health (MOH) determined that "around 90" Singaporeans attended the event, and that they are likely to be regular mosque-goers.
MUIS stated that some Singaporean attendees of the event tested positive for Covid-19.
The four mosques that were closed on March 12 are believed to have been frequented by the attendees of the event.
MUIS is assisting MOH with contact tracing efforts.
Mosque activities to cease temporarily
MUIS explained that the Mufti and the Fatwa Committee agreed on this course of action, similar to that adopted by international fatwa bodies, in the interest of public health and safety.
"Muslims should perform their regular noon (Zuhur) prayers in place of the congregational prayers. Friday messages will be disseminated online in place of the sermon."
Mosques will also cancel activities, lectures, religious classes and mosque based kindergarten sessions for a longer period of time, for the next two weeks (13 Mar to 27 Mar).
MUIS also urged the Muslim community to maintain good hygiene practices and practise socially-responsible behaviour, such as not making physical handshakes.
Mosques closed for cleaning
Earlier on March 12, an Instagram user shared a photo on her Instagram Story of what appeared to be two personnel in protective gear in the premises of a mosque. Two men wearing surgical masks can also be seen.
The user shared with Mothership that the photo was taken on March 12.
An announcement on a digital board read: "The mosque will be closed due to general cleaning. Any inconveniences are regrettable."
The photo included a caption which read: "Masjid Kassim, confirmed."
Kassim Mosque shared a post on its Facebook page at 1:48pm on March 12, which stated (translated):
"For your information,
Kassim Mosque will be closed today for cleaning.
More information will be provided soon. We apologise for the inconvenience.
Thank you for your cooperation."
According to a post shared by the Hajjah Fatimah Mosque - Main Page, the mosque will be closed temporarily for cleaning work to be carried out, with effect from March 12.
All prayers, including Friday prayers, and all mosque programs are suspended until further notice.Another mosque, Al-Muttaqin, also announced on Instagram that it would close for cleaning:
Top image from Muhammad Safwan Naqi via Google Maps and an Instagram user.