Coronavirus: New guidebook for Muslims on marking Ramadan amid closures

The guidebook will address commonly asked religious queries from the community.
The guidebook will address commonly asked religious queries from the community.PHOTO: MUIS

A guidebook for the holy month of Ramadan has been launched for Muslims here, detailing 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) yesterday, was produced in response to the disruptions caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, all places of worship are closed till May 4 and social gatherings are disallowed.

This period partly coincides with the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, which begins on April 24 and ends on Hari Raya Aidilfitri on May 24.

In its Facebook post yesterday, Muis said the book, titled Contemporary Irsyad Series Vol. 2, will address commonly asked religious questions that the community has raised. The book also features a guide on how Muslims can perform terawih prayers at home. These are special prayers that are 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 coronavirus, people are not allowed to gather in groups, and should stay at home as much as possible.

Muis said the holy month can be observed in ways such as focusing on the 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 to make it easier for Muslims here to donate funds to mosques.

Mosques here rely mainly on donations from congregants for their operations, and this has been difficult because of the closures.

Separately yesterday, the People's Association said the annual launch of its Hari Raya light-up in Geylang Serai would be postponed, owing to the ongoing circuit breaker measures.

In the past, the colourful decorations and festive lighting in Geylang Road and Sims Avenue during Ramadan would begin to be put up a few days before the start of the fasting month.

 
 
 

"This year, in the light of the circuit breaker to curb the spread of Covid-19, the People's Association has decided to postpone the launch of Hari Raya Light-Up 2020, so as to align with the nationwide effort to encourage everyone to stay home and be safe," said a spokesman for the association.

"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 the PA, will not be returning this year.

The PA has also cancelled other Hari Raya festive bazaars it usually organises around the island.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2020, with the headline 'New guidebook for Muslims on marking Ramadan amid closures'. Subscribe