SINGAPORE - A guidebook for the holy month of Ramadan has been launched for Muslims here on how they can perform special prayers and practise their faith while doing their part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The book, which was launched by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) on Tuesday (April 14), was produced in response to the disruptions caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
As part of measures to curb the spread of the virus,all places of worship are closed till May 4 and social gatherings disallowed.
This period partly coincides with the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, which begins on April 24 and ends on Hari Raya Puasa on May 24.
In a post on its Facebook page on Tuesday, Muis said the book, titled Contemporary Irsyad Series Vol 2, will address commonly asked religious queries the community has raised.
It also features a guide as to how Muslims can perform terawih prayers at home. These are special prayers performed only during Ramadan and usually done in large groups at mosques.
The guidebook is now available in Malay on Muis' website and an English version will be released "in a few days", said Muis.
In a separate release, a Muis spokesman said: "The handbook will emphasise the role of Singaporean Muslims as citizens in practising social responsibility to curb the transmission of Covid-19.
"It will feature several religious advisories that have been issued during this outbreak. Other related religious queries that have been put forth by members of the public will also be addressed."
The council also said it is encouraging Muslims here to observe Ramadan meaningfully at home.
As part of Singapore's circuit breaker measures to curb the spread of the virus, people are not allowed to gather in groups and should stay at home as much as possible.
Muis said that the holy month can be observed in ways such as focusing on core duties of fasting, doing e-learning classes with religious teachers, and helping the needy with zakat, or giving alms.
On Monday, the council had launched a new centralised donation portal called OurMasjid.SG, aimed at making it easier for Muslims here to donate funds to mosques.
Mosques here rely mainly on donations from congregants for their operations and this has not been possible because of the closure.
Separately on Tuesday, the People's Association (PA) said the annual launch of its Hari Raya Light-Up in Geylang Serai would be postponed, due to the ongoing circuit breaker measures.
In the past, the light-up of colourful decorations and festive lighting along Geylang Road and Sims Avenue during Ramadan began a few days before the start of the fasting month.
"This year, in light of the circuit breaker to curb the spread of Covid-19, the People's Association has decided to postpone the launch of the Hari Raya Light-Up 2020, so as to align to the nationwide effort to encourage everyone to stay home and be safe," said a PA spokesman.
"We will monitor the Covid-19 situation closely and announce the new Light-Up date in due time."
It was reported last month that the popular annual Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar, organised by PA, will not be returning this year.
PA has also cancelled other Hari Raya festive bazaars it usually organises around the island.