JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - Indonesia's Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas urged Muslim worshipers not to organize takbir (recitation of God is great) convoys on the eve of Eid al-Fitr to avoid crowds amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Takbir events, including the convoys or torchlight processions in the evening, have been part of the traditions carried out in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
"There will be no takbir event on the streets as it could potentially gather crowds and spread the coronavirus," said Yaqut during a press conference on Tuesday, May 11.
However, Yaqut said, Muslim worshippers can still hold takbir events at home, prayer hall, or mosque with only a limited number of attendees, or it will be limited to 10 percent of a room's capacity to comply with health protocols.
"Let's celebrate Eid and follow the health protocols," he added.
Besides, the morning Eid prayers at Southeast Asia's biggest mosque, the Istiqlal in Jakarta, will also be canceled. This announcement was made by Abu Hurairah, deputy head of the Religious Affairs of the Istiqlal Mosque.
According to Abu, there are three reasons why the Eid al-Fitr prayer was canceled. First, Indonesia is still trapped in an endless first wave of Covid-19. Second, the decision was made following the directives from Coordinating Minister for Human and Cultural Empowerment Muhadjir Effendy and Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas to cancel the Eid prayers at the Istiqlal Mosque. Third, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has also made a similar request to cancel the Eid prayers as part of the efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Earlier, the government announced that Eid Al-Fitr celebrations will begin on Thursday, May 13 after relevant agencies organized an isbat (confirmation) meeting on Tuesday, May 11 to determine the first day of Syawal month.
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