Fatwa Issued To Ban Religious Gatherings Due To Coronavirus
In a bid to counter the deadly coronavirus in Indonesia, the country’s Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) has issued a fatwa banning mass religious gatherings. The religious council also barred the Muslim citizens from holding Friday prayers congregations.
The Jakarta Post reported that MUI Fatwa Council chair Hasanuddin said in a written statement on Monday that Muslims in areas – where COVID-19 had spread ‘uncontrollably’ were not permitted to perform Friday prayers until the situation returns to normal in those areas.
“They are obliged to replace [the Friday prayer] with the zuhr [midday] prayer [at home]. Likewise, it is [forbidden] to hold religious activities that involve large numbers of people that could further spread COVID-19,” Hasanuddin said in the statement. The council also termed hoarding of face masks and hand sanitisers as ‘haram’.
The fatwa further stated that it was ‘haram’ for a person diagnosed with coronavirus to participate in any religious gathering, through which coronavirus could be spread. “A person with COVID-19 cannot perform the daily prayers in congregation, the tarawih [special Ramadan prayer] and the Eid prayer at mosques and other public places.”
On March 16, Indonesian authorities reported 134 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including five deaths.