Religious Affairs Minister Issues Circular on Guidelines for Eid Prayers amid Pandemic
Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas has issued Circular Number 07 of 2021 on Guidelines for Organizing the 1442 Hijri/2021 AD Eid al-Fitr Prayer during COVID-19 Pandemic.
“The guidelines aim to provide a sense of security to Muslims in organizing Eid prayers and prevent the spread of COVID-19 across the country. The Circular covers the takbiran event (reciting God’s name during the eve of Eid al-Fitr) and Eid al-Fitr prayer which will be held in mosques and in fields,” Yaqut said in Jakarta, Thursday (06/05).
Yaqut also instructed the Ministry’s personnel to immediately disseminate the guidelines.
The guidelines for the implementation of the 1442 Hijri/2021 AD Eid al-Fitr prayer are as follows:
First, takbiran event may be carried out in mosques and musallas, under the following conditions:
- The maximum number of participants is 10 percent of the total capacity of mosques and musallas, with strict implementation of COVID-19 health protocols, including wearing face masks, maintaining safe distance and avoiding crowds;
- The mobile takbiran event is not allowed; and
- The takbiran event may be broadcast virtually from mosques and musallas according to the availability of telecommunications equipment at the mosques and musallas.
Second, the Eid al-Fitr prayer in the area with a high level of COVID-19 spread (red zone and orange zone) should be carried out at home, in line with the fatwas of the Indonesian Ulema Council and other Islamic organizations.
Third, the Eid al-Fitr prayer may be held in mosques and fields only in areas that are declared safe from COVID-19, namely the green zone and the yellow zone, based on the the data issued by the relevant authorities.
Fourth, in the event that the Eid al-Fitr prayers are held in mosques and fields, it is mandatory to strictly follow the COVID-19 health protocols and the following provisions:
- Eid al-Fitr prayer should be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Eid al-Fitr prayer and sermon;
- The congregation of the Eid al-Fitr prayer must not exceed 50 percent of the capacity of the venue in order to maintain safe distance;
- The Eid al-Fitr prayer committee is urged to use a temperature check device in order to ensure the congregation is in good health;
- Elderly people or those in unhealthy condition, just recovering from illness or coming back from traveling, are advised not to attend Eid prayer in mosques and fields;
- The entire congregation should keep wearing face masks during Eid al-Fitr prayer and while listening to the Eid al-Fitr sermon in mosques and in fields;
- Eid al-Fitr sermon should be carried out briefly while still fulfilling the requirements of the sermon, with a maximum time of 20 minutes;
- The lectern used in Eid al-Fitr prayer in mosques and in fields should be equipped with a transparent barrier between the preacher and the congregation; and
- After the Eid prayer, the congregation should return home in an orderly manner and avoid shaking hands.
Fifth, the Islamic Holiday Committee/Eid al-Fitr Prayer Committee, before organizing Eid al-Fitr prayer in mosques and in fields must coordinate with the local government, the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, and local security stakeholders to find out information on zoning status and receive supervision for the implementation of COVID-19 health protocols.
Sixth, the gathering during Eid al-Fitr period should only be carried out with the family and should not be carried out in the office or communities.
Seventh, in the event of an extreme development of COVID-19 pandemic, such as a significant increase in the positive number of COVID-19 cases, or a mutation of a new variant of the COVID-19 in an area, the implementation of the Circular should be adjusted to the local situation. (PR of Ministry of Religious Affairs/UN) (RI/MUR)