Religious Affairs Ministry allows iftar get-togethers during Ramadan

Takjil market at Pondok Indah Mosque, South Jakarta. <em>Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid for Coconuts Media</em>
Takjil market at Pondok Indah Mosque, South Jakarta. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid for Coconuts Media

If you’re looking forward to getting together with friends and loved ones to have iftar (fast breaking) during Ramadan, you may do so under certain conditions after the government waived some restrictions on gatherings.

The Religious Affairs Ministry recently issued a circular containing guidelines for worship during Ramadan and Eid amid the pandemic this year. Among the points outlined in the circular is the approval for people to get together for iftar as long as the events are carried out in areas that are considered COVID-19 safe zones, namely in green zones (zero cases) and yellow zones (low risk of transmission).

“[For iftar gatherings, the public] must obey the occupancy limit of 50 percent of the room capacity as well as avoid crowds,” the ministry’s spokesman Fuad Nasar said in a national COVID-19 handling coordination meeting yesterday

Despite the waiving of restrictions, the ministry is still recommending that people have their sahur (predawn meal) and iftar at home and with their immediate family. 

Other activities regulated in the circular relate to congregational prayers, Taraweeh (evening prayer that can only be performed during the holy month of Ramadan), events for Nuzulul Quran (commemorating the revelation of the Holy Quran), and other forms of worship including the daily obligatory prayers.

All of them can only be carried out at mosques within the yellow and green zones with the adherence of the usual health precautions, including regular disinfecting of facilities and enforcing a 50 percent capacity limit.

Come Eid time, the congregational prayer can be held at mosques or open fields with health protocols in place, though the policy may be reviewed depending on the state of COVID-19 in Indonesia or each respective region by that time.

 

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