The Anjuman Sunnat ul Jammat Association (ASJA) is asking the Ministry of Health for considerations to allow small groups of Muslims to congregate for Friday prayers.
Under the latest Public Health Regulations, the conduct of religious or ecclesiastical services or any other religious gatherings are prohibited. However, religious services are allowed to occur via online streams as long as the number of people gathered “does not exceed ten persons and the organisations comply with the Guidelines for Places of Worship issued by the Ministry of Health.”
In a letter sent to the Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh, however, ASJA General Secretary Rahimool Hosein explained that while online services could be employed for other forms of Islamic worship, it is not feasible for the performance of their prayers which requires them to be led by an Imam.
Hosein said it poses further difficulties for the Friday prayer called Jummah. While the five mandatory daily prayers can be performed at home, the Jummah prayer can only be performed at a mosque with the lead of an Imam, he said.
In an interview with Guardian Media yesterday, Hosein explained that they are asking that the group of 10 allowed for the prayer under the regulation be instead allowed for the performance of the prayer.
“We must be physically present behind the Imam or leader for that prayer,” he said.
“All we are asking for is a simple concession – the same once a week, Friday for no more than 15/20 minutes, no more than 10 people would assemble following all the Public Health Guidelines, wearing of their masks, social distancing and for 15 minutes to perform that prayer which cannot i repeat- cannot be performed individually.”
The association commended the Ministry of Health for their efforts in combating the COVID-19 virus so far and said it would continue to have ASJA’s full support and the support of its members.