By S. Harrish
ALL religious activities at mosques and surau, including Friday prayers, will be suspended for 10 days starting today, following a decree by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said all activities are to be suspended, starting March 17 to 26.
In a statement, he said all mosque and surau committees are advised to conduct cleaning and sanitising as a precautionary measure over the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zulkifli said that if there was a death due to Covid-19, the handling of the deceased’s body would be accorded certain allowances.
“The body can be handled via tayammum (dry ritual purification) on the surface of the body bag or wrap that covers the body,” he said, adding that this was in accordance with a previous decision made by the Muzakarah Jawatankuasa Fatwa (Fatwa Committee) in 2015.
He also said that the matters were subject to the purview of the relevant Islamic bodies in each state.
“With the royal decree, the execution of both matters are also applicable to the Federal Territories,” he added.
However in Kedah, the State Mufti Datuk Syeikh Fadhil Awang said the Covid 19 situation was still not at a level where a decision to cancel Friday prayers was needed.
According to a report by The Star, he said that if the Covid-19 situation there becomes serious, then a decision will be made to cancel Friday prayers.
“We will provide guidelines and they would then be replaced with Zohor prayers in pilgrims’ homes.”