Public Jum’ah (Friday) prayers cautiously being held again

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Jum’ah (Friday) prayers at As Samawi Mosque, Headquarters of the Indonesian Air Force, Cilangkap, East Jakarta. (Photo: The Air Force’s Information Office (Dinas Penerangan Angkatan Udara – “Dispenau”)

IO, Jakarta – The Large-Scaled Social Restriction (Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar – “PSBB”) transition period towards the new normal in the DKI Jakarta is marked with the opening of houses of worship for public prayers, among others the holding of the public Jum’ah (Friday) prayers at Headquarters of the Indonesian Air Force, Cilangkap, East Jakarta, on Friday (05/06/2020). The Mosque has not held any public salat wajib (obligatory prayer ritual) service for 11 weeks, starting from 20 March 2020. The noontime Jum’ah prayer held every Friday has been replaced with individual Zuhur prayers performed by each staff member in their individual offices. 

In line with the instructions provided in the relevant Circular of the Minister of Religious Affairs of RI, Jum’ah prayers in the Air Force Headquarters’ mosque was held with due attention to health protocols, which include temperature check, provision of hand-washing facilities and hand sanitizers, maintenance of a minimum distance of 1 meter between individual participants, maximum filling of 50% of the mosque’s capacity, shortened sermons and prayers, and keeping from shaking hands with each other after the salat ritual is completed. Air Force officers who wanted to pray and could not get space in the mosque proper were provided with prayer rugs on the mosque’s terrace and yard. Despite the various restrictions, the salat Jum’ah service, an obligatory weekly ritual for male Muslims, was held solemnly as is proper. 

Friday Prayers were also held at Baiturrahman mosque, located in the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – DPR”) complex, Central Jakarta. Internal security guards stationed outside of the mosque reminded the congregation to maintain distance from each other. As elsewhere, the mosque may only be filled at 50% of its total capacity. For now, the public is not allowed to pray there as they usually do in order to cut down the COVID-19 infection chain. (nhn)