Selangor Sultan maintains congregation limit in mosques during MCO, urges Muslims not to be shortsighted in pandemic

Radzi Razak
·3-min read
Muhammad Munir said the Sultan has emphasised that the decision made to limit the number of worshipers in mosques and surau statewide is to ensure the safety of all Muslims. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Muhammad Munir said the Sultan has emphasised that the decision made to limit the number of worshipers in mosques and surau statewide is to ensure the safety of all Muslims. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28 — Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah today expressed disappointment with some Muslims pushing for mosques and surau to stay open to all during the current movement control order (MCO) when the state continues to top Covid-19 cases nationwide.

His private secretary Datuk Muhammad Munir Bani said the Sultan has read the appeals and applications to reconsider the current restrictions imposed on the Muslim houses of worship channelled through the state mufti and the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais).

However, Muhammad Munir said the Sultan has emphasised that the decision made to limit the number of worshipers in mosques and surau statewide is to ensure the safety of all Muslims as the latest statistics show Covid-19 infections and deaths in Selangor are still trending upwards.

“His Majesty is also disappointed that there were a few parties who did not think long and only selfishly willing to harm other congregations if the mosque and surau were reopened as usual.

He did not want more Selangor citizens to get infected due to not adhering to MCO and SOP that can cause death.

“After this, His Royal Highness hopes that there will be no more parties arguing with each other regarding the decision that has been taken unanimously by the authorities, for the safety of Muslims in Selangor,” Muhammad Munir said in a statement via the Selangor Royal Office today.

Jais director Datuk Mohd Shahzihan Ahmad announced on January 14 that Friday prayers and other congregational obligatory prayers will be suspended during MCO in all 425 mosques and 2,025 surau in Selangor.

Selangor topped Malaysia’s Covid-19 daily infections yesterday, logging 1,295 new cases, one-third of the overall 3,585 cases nationwide.

Muhammad Munir said the Sultan understood the worry and fear of the Muslims in Selangor in regards of not being able to congregate for prayers at the local mosques and surau but the lives of the people matter more.

“His Majesty reiterated, it does not mean that if mosques and surau are closed then acts of worship will also stop,” he said.

Meru assemblyman Mohd Fakhrulrazi Mohd Mokhtar was among those reported by Sinar Harian on January 24 calling for mosques and surau in Selangor to stay open during the MCO, fearing that Muslims may fall out of the habit of attending mass prayer sessions after the lockdown ends.

The Amanah-turned-PKR man reportedly claimed his party is confident that every member of the congregation will comply with the health regulations during worship despite data showing the high number of cases in Selangor. He also cited the government’s allowance for commercial and other activities to continue during MCO as justification for mosques to fully reopen.

"The mosque should be more a focus for us to be close to Allah so that more blessings will come down and hopefully this Covid-19 epidemic can also be lifted," Fakhrulrazi said in a video uploaded on Facebook.

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