65 mosques to open for Hari Raya Haji prayers on July 31

The limited spaces would allow congregants to perform their Hari Raya prayers safely in three morning sessions, in addition to the two sessions scheduled for weekly Friday prayers. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Some 8,750 Muslims will be able to perform their Hari Raya Haji prayers at 65 mosques across Singapore next week, although the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) continues to encourage families to conduct prayers at home.

Hari Raya Haji falls on July 31, a Friday.

The limited spaces would allow congregants to perform their Hari Raya prayers safely in three morning sessions, in addition to the sessions scheduled for weekly Friday prayers, Muis said on Friday (July 24).

Registration for Hari Raya prayers will be open via the MuslimSG app and here from 1pm on July 27. Registration for Friday prayers on July 31 will open on the same platforms on July 28 at 10am.

The office of the Mufti has said that those who cannot secure slots in mosques can, in similar arrangements to Hari Raya Aidilfitri in May, still perform their Hari Raya prayers at home.

Those who are able to secure a slot for Hari Raya prayer will not need to perform the Friday prayer, in spite of the opinion of most scholars from the Shafiee, Hanafi and Maliki schools of thought that Friday prayers are still compulsory after Hari Raya prayers.

"The office of the Mufti has advised that this opinion is best applied during normal situations where space and other similar limitations are not an issue," Muis said.

Conversely, those who secure a slot for Friday prayers on July 31 will also not be able to book a slot for Hari Raya Haji prayers.

This will allow more people to pray in mosques on that day.

"The main priority for the Muslim community is to provide opportunities for as many Muslims as possible to perform Friday prayers, especially those who have not been able to perform them since the resumption of Friday prayers in mosques (since June 26)," Muis said.

Those who have performed Friday prayers prior to July 31 in mosques will not be eligible to register for Friday prayers on that day, although this does not impact on their eligibility for Hari Raya prayer slots.

Hari Raya Haji , or the feast of the sacrifice, commemorates Prophet Ibrahim's, or Abraham's, trust in God. This is recounted in the story of God commanding him to sacrifice his son, to which he responded with obedience before God stopped him.

It also marks the end of the haj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

The Hari Raya Haji sermon by Mufti Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir will be broadcast in Malay with English subtitles on SalamSG TV as well as on Mediacorp Radio Warna 94.2FM at 8.30am.

Tamil versions will be broadcast via the Facebook platforms of Masjid Jamae Chulia and Masjid Al Abrar and on Bisme Radio, while Masjid Malabar will broadcast the sermon in Malayalam.

At 9.30am, the sermon will be delivered in Bengali on SalamSG TV.

SalamSG TV and Warna will also broadcast the takbir, the exaltation and praise to Allah, before the Hari Raya Haji prayer.

The coronavirus cast its long shadow over Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations in May this year, with the traditional recitation of prayers confined to homes and large gatherings disallowed

In his sermon then, Dr Nazirudin said Muslims had to adapt in order to continue their religious practices.

Muis said those above the age of 60, those with acute respiratory infection and pre-existing chronic medical conditions, as well as children below the age of 12 should still refrain from going to the mosques.

Congregants are also advised to follow safe distancing measures, bring their own prayer items, wear a mask and use Safe Entry when entering and exiting mosques.

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