JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has issued a fatwa or edict that allows people to have breaking-of-the-fast meals together at homes, mosques, and offices despite the government's order of social distancing in public during the Covid-19 pandemic.
MUI Fatwa Council chair Asrorun Niam Sholeh said in a written statement on Tuesday that large public gatherings celebrating Ramadan such as communal breaking fast are allowed. However, its implementation must comply with the provisions mentioned in the MUI Fatwa No. 24/2021 on Worship Guidelines during Ramadan and Syawal 1422 Hijrah.
"Communal breaking fast at home, at the mosque, at the office, or in other places can be done while maintaining health protocols," said Asrorun on Tuesday, April 13.
MUI also said that a sick person or those who have tested positive for the Covid-19 are exempt from fasting during Ramadan. They could make up the missed fasting days in another month or after recovery, Asrorun said.
He added that Muslims may take part in public prayers in mosques but must follow the health protocols and particular arrangements that are put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Asrorun said according to the fatwa, congregations can maintain a distance while praying instead of standing close to each other in their shaf (rows) during the pandemic.
Also, wearing a mask while praying is permissible. Wearing masks while praying, which is not allowed during normal conditions, does not damage the legitimacy of prayer, the guidance reads.
"It is permissible to use a mask that covers the mouth and nose during prayers. Prayers are valid and do not lose the virtue of the congregation because this condition is a syariah compliance," said Asrorun.
Among other things, vaccination in the month of Ramadan does not cancel fasting. The implementation of swab test either through the nose or mouth also does invalidate the fast.
"Likewise, the rapid test using blood sampling and the use of Genose with breath samples [do not invalidate the fast]," Asrorun added.
Regarding the implementation of health protocols during Ramadan, MUI called on the Muslims to strictly adhere to the acts of worship that bring them closer to God. People were encouraged to minimize physical contact, bring their own prayer mats, and also wash their hands diligently.
Asrorun said every Muslim is obliged to participate in efforts to break the chain of spreading Covid-19.
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