Religious Affairs Minister Issues Circular on Guidelines for Upcoming Ramadan, Eid
Minister of Religious Affairs has issued Circular Number 03 of 2021 on guidelines for the fasting month of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr 1442 Hijri.
The Circular, signed by Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas on Monday (05/04), was addressed to Heads of Provincial Offices of Ministry of Religious Affairs, Chairperson of the National Zakat Agency (Baznas), Heads of Regency/City Offices of Ministry of Religious Affairs, Heads of Technical Management Unit (UPT) of Ministry of Religious Affairs in Indonesia, as well as administrators of mosques and musallas across Indonesia.
“The Circular aims to provide guidance for worship that complies with health protocols, as well as to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the public from the risk of COVID-19,” the Circular reads.
The Circular includes the following guidelines:
- Muslims, except for those who are sick or have other justifiable reasons, are obliged to observe Ramadan fasting according to sharia law and religious practices stipulated by religious teachings;
- Sahur (predawn meal in the fasting month of Ramadan) and iftar (breaking the fast) are to be carried out at home with the family;
- In the event that communal iftar is carried out, the maximum number of participants should be 50 percent of the room capacity;
- Administrators of mosques/musallas may organize worship activities, including:
- The five daily prayers, tarawih prayers and witr prayers, Qur’an recital, and i’tikaf (seclusion in a mosque) are carried out with the maximum number of participants of 50 percent of the capacity of the mosques/musallas and by implementing strict health protocols and maintaining a safe distance of one meter among participants. Every participant should bring prayer mats/prayer gown;
- Ramadan sermon and fajr sermon should be delivered with a maximum duration of 15 minutes;
- Nuzul al-Quran commemoration in mosques/musalla is carried out with the maximum participant of 50 percent of room capacity and with strict application of health protocols;
- Administrators of mosques/musallas as referred to in number 4 (four) must appoint personnel who ensure the implementation and dissemination of health protocols, including regular disinfecting, hand washing facilities at the entrance to the mosques/musallas, and obligation to wear face masks, keep a safe distance and bring personal prayer mat/prayer gown;
- Nuzul al-Quran commemoration carried out indoors or outdoors must comply with strict health protocols and the maximum number of participants is 50 percent of the place capacity;
- COVID-19 vaccination can be carried out in the month of Ramadan based on Fatwa of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Number 13 of 2021 on COVID-19 Vaccination during Fasting, as well as Fatwas issued by other Islamic organizations;
- The activities of collecting and distributing zakat, infaq, and shadaqah (ZIS) as well as zakat fitrah by the National Zakat Agency (BAZNAS) and Amil Zakat Instititutions (LAZ) are carried out by observing health protocols and avoiding crowds;
- In carrying out worship and da’wah (sermon) in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims and religious preachers should maintain ukhuwah islamiyah (Islamic brotherhood), ukhuwah wathaniyah (national brotherhood), and ukhuwah basyariyah (human brotherhood), and avoid dispute on khilafiyah (dissenting opinion) which can disrupt the unity of the ummah;
- The preachers are expected to play a role in strengthening the values of faith, piety, akhlaqul karimah (noble manners), and national values of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia through appropriate language according to the guidance of the Quran and Sunna (Islamic custom based on the words and deeds of the Prophet);
- Eid al-Fitr prayers can be held in mosques or in fields by implementing strict health protocols, unless the COVID-19 pandemic gets worse based on the announcement of the COVID-19 Task Force or regional governments. (PR of Ministry of Religious Affairs/ UN) (RI/MUR)