Religious Affairs Minister Provides Guideline for Eid al-Adha Prayer during Pandemic
Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas issued Circular Letter Number 15 of 2021 concerning enforcement of health protocols for Eid al-Adha prayer 1442 H and slaughtering of sacrificial animals during COVID-19 pandemic.
“In order to provide security to all Muslims during COVID-19 pandemic which currently shows no sign of abating and the emerge of new COVID-19 variants, it is deemed necessary to enforce stricter health protocols for Eid al-Adha prayer and slaughtering of sacrificial animals 1442 H,” he said on Wednesday (23/6).
According to the Minister, this Circular is expected to be a guideline to prevent, control, and break the COVID-19 transmission chain in all activities that potentially could spread the virus in order to protect the public.
The Circular will be disseminated to Directorate General of Islamic Community Guidance, Religious Affairs Ministry’s office at provincial level, municipalities/regencies, sub-district, leaders of Islamic Mass Organization, mosques, musallas (prayer room), organizers of Islamic holidays, and all Muslims, whereas the implementation will be monitored by high-ranking officials at the Ministry in Central Government.
They must comply with requirements regulated under the Circular, among others:
1. All mosques and musallas are allowed to hold takbiran (tradition of chanting praises to God) at the night before Eid al-Adha, under this following requirements:
a. Limiting the participants to no more than 10 percent of the capacity of the mosques/musallas, with implementation of stricter health protocols, such as wear face masks, wash hands, maintain safe distance and avoid crowd.
b. Takbiran parade are prohibited to prevent crowds.
c. Takbiran can be broadcasted from the mosques/musallas through telecommunication devices.
2. Eid prayer are prohibited to be performed both in open space and at mosques/musallas in red and orange zones.
3. Eid prayer can only be observed in open space and at mosques/musallas in regions outside red and orange zones, based on provisions of regional governments and COVID-19 Task Force.
4. Implementation of Eid prayer as referred to as in provision number 3 must be based on strict health protocols and this following requirements:
a. Shorten the implementation of Eid prayers and sermons to 15 minutes without reducing the prayer conditions and pillars.
b. The number of people participate in the prayer should not exceed 50 percent of the capacity of the places of worship in order to maintain safe distance.
c. Providing temperature checking devices to ensure that those entering the venue are all healthy.
d. Elderly and other who are not feeling well, have just recovered from any illness, or just returned from a travel are not allowed to perform Eid prayer in open space and at mosques/musallas.
e. All participants must always wear face masks and maintain safe distance during the prayer.
f. All participants must bring their own prayer mat and prayer clothes.
g. Khatib (a person who delivers sermon) is required to wear face mask and face shield during the sermon.
h. After the prayer, all people must directly return to their homes and are not allowed to shake hands and make physical contact with others.
5. For the slaughter of sacrificial animals, the implementation must meet the following requirements:
a. The slaughter of sacrificial animals is carried out from 11 to 13 Zulhijjah to avoid crowd at the slaughter locations.
b. The slaughter of sacrificial animals is carried out in ruminant slaughterhouses. In the event when the slaughterhouses are full, it can be done outside the slaughterhouses by adhering to strict health protocols.
c. The process of cutting, skinning, chopping, packing, and distributing the meat to those eligible for it must take into account strict health protocols, including urging the committee to avoid using tools in direct contact with other.
d. The slaughter of sacrificial animals can only be made by the committee and will be witnessed by the owners of the animals.
e. The distribution of sacrificial meat is done by the committee to the mustahiq (deserver)’s house with minimal direct contact.
6. Before holding Eid prayer in open space and at mosques/musallas, the committee must coordinate with regional government, COVID-19 Task Force, and local security personnel to see zonation status of their respective areas. They must deploy supervisors to ensure that the health protocols is well implemented.
7. In case of extreme development of COVID-19 cases, significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, or emerging of new variant, the implementation of this Circular will be adjusted to the latest condition. (MINISTRY OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS PR/EN) (RAS/LW)