The Muslim community is in “quarantine” for this Ramadan. This instruction was given by Imam Raffaic Mohamed, PRO of Anjumam Sunnat ul Jamaat Association (ASJA), during a virtual press conference on Friday.
On Thursday, the Prime Minister announced that all places of worship are to be closed until May 23.
The Islamic community is currently in the middle of the month of Ramadan. Eid is on May 13.
In a response, Mohamed asked all Muslims not to gather publicly anywhere, and continue prayers at home. Be it in the backyard or living room, they are asked to pray in seclusion.
“Islam shows that in epidemic and in difficult times, the call of prayers is changed to prayers in your houses.
“We are advising imams and management: we know you are emotional at this moment. Let us not allow our emotions make a problem. If we really care for our masjid, and care for our religion, spend time in Iʿtikaf, seclusion…Seclude yourself in the masjid until Ramadan is over.”
In Iʿtikaf seclusion an imam keeps himself away from the public to pray.
Imams and three members of the masjid ( mosque) should seclude themselves in the masjid until Eid.
“The masjid is no more a public place. Finish your Ramadan in the masjid. Perform your seclusion, which means you cannot leave the masjid.
“You are restricted in your movement. You have no time for worldly affairs, you only worship. You are not dealing with the public,” he told iImams.
While he encourages everyone to continue to pray five times a day, he said there is no replacement for Juma, which happens every Friday, the holiest day in Islam, at 12.30 at a masjid. Usually people would use their lunch hour to attend Juma.
He pointed out, “You cannot have Juma in your home. Juma is communal prayer. There is no Juma in isolation.”
He said he understood how important Juma and spending time with others was important for the Islamic community, especially after last year’s Eid, when it was done outside the mosque. This year, even though they were not allowed to shake hands and congregate, just being able to pray among other people was comforting.
However, he urged: “Do not let emotion make us irresponsible. If we care for our mosque, we should take Iʿtikaf seclusion. Stay away from everyone. Cut yourself off from the activity of the world. No distractions. That will help you do that, if the love is there. Train yourself to finish this month of Ramadan safely.”
He encouraged all Muslims to continue to say their five prayers a day in their homes, by themselves.
One prayer he wants people to say is:
Zalika tag dig rul Aazey zil Aslim, which is a short prayer that should be recited constantly. It means “The decree of the mighty, the wise.”
“That’s a very important to recite every day as much as you can. I wish every Muslim and non-Muslim would read that simple prayer for their peace of mind.”
Ramadan is the month of fasting and cultivating discipline.
“Take this time a point to develop your piety. Training yourself to get self-discipline.”