KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — The Selangor Sultan today extended a ban on Friday prayers being held in Selangor mosques by one month to June 30 as part of measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, except for 39 selected mosques previously allowed to host such prayers with limited numbers of individuals.
The Selangor Sultan's private secretary Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani said the state ruler had decided to extend the ban — initially to end on May 31 — due to continued worries of Covid-19 infection risks posing a threat to Selangor residents if restrictions were to be relaxed.
“Therefore, with a heavy heart, the Selangor Sultan has decided that the period of prohibition of Friday prayers and the solat lima waktu (prayers five times daily) at mosques and suraus will be extended until June 30, 2020 except for 39 mosques that had been allowed before this to carry out Friday prayers with the numbers fixed,” Mohamad Munir said in a statement today.
Mohamad Munir however said that the azan or call to prayer will still be broadcasted and that the five-times daily prayer will still be carried out by a total of three mosque officials namely the imam, bilal and siak of mosques and suraus in Selangor, while talks through social media would still be carried out.
Mohamad Munir indicated the possibility of changes if the Covid-19 situation improves.
“However, a review will be done after the first week of June 2020, and if the spread of Covid-19 is found to have reduced consistently, then considerations will be made to enable the numbers of Friday prayer congregants to be increased and for mosques to be opened earlier for Friday prayers to be held gradually, especially in areas categorised as green zones,” he said.
In the same statement, Mohamad Munir said the Selangor Sultan had previously imposed the ban on Friday prayers and the daily five-time prayer at Selangor's mosque and surau due to the Covid-19 pandemic until May 31 after receiving views and advice from the Selangor mufti, Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS), Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais).
Noting that this was a difficult decision for the Selangor Sultan to make, Mohamad Munir said the Selangor ruler understood the Selangor residents' laments of not being able to perform their prayers at the mosques for the past 12 weeks but noted that this was necessary to control the spread of Covid-19.
Mohamad Munir said that Selangor Sultan as of now was still closely monitoring the latest data on the spread of Covid-19 including the declining trend of new cases in Selangor, adding that the decline in mid-May had led to the Selangor ruler giving his consent on May 14 for Friday prayers to be allowed at 39 selected mosques in Selangor with a maximum of 12 individuals limited to mosque officials only.
Having announced the extension of the ban until June 30, Mohamad Munir concluded by conveying the Selangor Sultan's call for the public to continue to practise social distancing, the wearing of face masks and the compliance of all instructions and guidelines issued by the Health Ministry and Jais.