Perak allows congregational prayers with maximum of 120 people


IPOH – The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, has given his consent to allow Friday prayers, obligatory (fard) prayers and funeral prayers to be performed at mosques and surau statewide with a maximum of 120 people compared with 40 previously excluding mosque official and committee members throughout the Movement Control Order period, beginning tomorrow.

Perak Islamic Religion and Malay Customs Council (MAIPk) president Datuk Seri Mohd Annuar Zaini said the consent was given upon advice by the Perak Fatwa Committee as well as the Ministry of Health and the state National Security Council.

However, he said, for areas placed under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO), all religious activities including Friday prayers and obligatory prayers at mosques and suraus are disallowed.

Mohd Annuar added that for the state mosque Sultan Idris Shah Mosque, the Sultan Azlan Shah Mosque in Ipoh as well as the Ubudiah Mosque Kuala Kangsar as well as the main mosques in each district are allowed to accommodate a maximum of 250 people.

“Mosques and suraus in military and police camps, universitities, colleges and polytechnics’ campuses are allowed to accommodate a maximum of 250 people and are restricted to camps’ personnel and campus residents,” he said in a statement here today.

According to Mohd Annuar, the permission for Friday prayers at all mosques and surau including at military and police camps, office buildings, institutions, universities, colleges, schools, companies and factories aimed at enabling more Muslims to have the opportunity to perform the prayers.

He said congregants allowed to attend prayers are limited to only male Malaysian citizens, aged 16 to 70, and they are advised to bring along bags to store shoes that could be brought into the mosques and surau.

Knowledge-based religious activities were also allowed in mosques and surau after Maghrib prayers while waiting for Isyak prayers only.

In addition, while waiting for the call to prayer on Friday, knowledge lecture activities can be held but not exceeding 20 minutes while serving food in mosques and surau building as well as at the compound is prohibited, apart from the congregants must adhere to physical distancing at all times.

“Sultan Nazrin understands the wishes of Muslims to perform the prayers in mosques and surau but he needs to prioritise the safety and health of the people and taking into account of heavy task faced by the Ministry of Health staff in dealing with COVID-19,” he said.

“His Royal Highness’ consent whether to increase or decrease the number of congregants is subject to the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Perak. Sultan Nazrin also advised that all mosques and surau to hold ‘solat hajat’ daily, for the end of the pandemic so that life could return to normal,” he said.