MUIS Launches Guidebook for Muslims to Observe the Holy Month Amid Circuit Breaker Measures
The guidebook focuses on the need to sacrifice "personal interests for the greater good to prevent causing any form of harm on the lives and health of individuals and the general public."
The holy month of Ramadan (which begins on April 24 and ends on Hari Raya Puasa on May 24 this year) falls partly within the period of enforcement for the circuit breaker measures. It is a month of deep spiritual reflection, wherein a Singaporean Muslim usually devotes to observing mass-prayers at mosques in addition to other religious observances. In line with all places of worship being closed till May 4 and social gatherings disallowed as part of the efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) has launched a guidebook for Ramadan detailing steps you can take to perform the special prayers known as tarawih prayers at home, as well as other religious observances while maintaining the safety measures put in place.
The guidebook was launched on Tuesday (April 14), and is an effort to “guide the community in navigating the unique challenges that arise amid the COVID-19 outbreak and addresses the commonly asked religious queries the community has since raised”, notes MUIS in a Facebook post that followed the launch.
Guidebook for Ramadan 2020
The handbook focuses on social responsibility within the coronavirus outbreak
Titled “Contemporary Irsyad Series Vol. 2”, the handbook will also further emphasise the duties as citizens in practising social responsibility to curb the transmission of COVID-19.
In a press release, MUIS spokesperson noted that the guide focuses on “being adaptive in our religious practices that transcend physical spaces through uplifting religious narratives, and the importance of non-ritual elements to deepen one’s spirituality.”
It will also further provide clarification on the need to sacrifice “personal interests for the greater good to prevent causing any form of harm on the lives and health of individuals and the general public” which also includes “being mindful of others and not inconveniencing them through unnecessary acts.”
In conjunction with Stay-home directives, the holy month this year can be observed in ways such as focusing on the core duties of fasting, engaging in e-learning classes with religious teachers, as well as helping the needy. Alms-giving (or zakat) this year to donate funds to mosques which rely mainly on donations from congregants for their operations, has further been digitized with the launch of a new centralised donation portal called OurMasjid.SG, on Monday (April 13) by the council.
The guidebook is now available in Malay on Muis’ website with an English version to be released shortly.
Geylang Serai Bazar cancelled; Hari Raya Light-UP 2020 postponed
Meanwhile, the People’s Association (PA) announced that the annual launch of its Hari Raya Light-Up which consists of vibrant decorations and festive lighting in Geylang Serai would be postponed.
The light-up which has been observed along Geylang Road and Sims Avenue during Ramadan usually begins a few days before the start of the month of fasting.
“This year, in light of the circuit breaker to curb the spread of COVID-19, the People’s Association has decided to postpone the launch of the Hari Raya Light-Up 2020, to align to the nationwide effort to encourage everyone to stay home and be safe,” a spokesperson for PA noted, adding that the new Light-Up date will be announced after careful monitoring of the situation.
The association previously reported last month, that they would not be hosting the popular annual Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar, organised by them this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Other Hari Raya festive bazaars island-wide usually organised by PA have also been cancelled.
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