Covid19: Masjid Guidelines under Alert Level 3
We are truly grateful to Allah Ta’aala for permitting His bondsmen the opportunity to perform Salaah once again in congregation in the Masajid.
Since we find ourselves in the middle of the epidemic and the government has required it citizens to still comply with health regulations, the Muslim community should abide by these regulations for the common interest of the entire country. We should bear in mind that although the infection curve has been flattened by instituting the lockdown, however, there is still considerable danger for a second wave of the infection and especially through congregations. Therefore, we are urged to take much precaution in this matter.
The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa has therefore prepared general guidelines for the Masajid and Muslim Community in the intrerest of the broader community. We urge that every Masjid adapt these guidelines in accordance to their community dynamics.
May Allah Ta’aala remove this epidemic and may Allah Ta’aala assist us in worshipping Him continuously in conjunction with the dictates of the Shari’ah.
General Management & Administration of Masaajid
- Masajid (and Musallas) must remain open for daily Salaah.
- For purposes of seamlessly managing our congregational prayers it is recommended that a volunteer team be selected to fully manage the congregational attendance of the community in the Masajid.
- Communication to congregants should be adequate, frequent and clear, without any ambiguity.
- Only appointed officials/Imaams should disseminate information utilising various platforms.
- Safeguard against controversial and misleading opinions.
- Committee members together with their local Ulama/Imaams should discuss and agree upon the details unique to their respective Masaajid and subsidiary organs.
- Adequate notices and requirements for Musallis should be strategically placed in and around the Masjid precinct.
Monitoring of Masjid Congregations
- Masajid Committees must acquire temperature readers and introduce a register of traceable contact details of the community congregants.
- All Musallis entering the Masjid must be tested. Those whose temperature is above the legal requirement should perform their Salaah at home and be requested to seek medical assessment. Such a person should be recorded in the register for monitoring and managing his future attendance.
- Management should ensure that all Musallis enter the premises whilst wearing masks.
Masjid Sanitization & Ventilation
- Masajid should remain well ventilated during congregations.
- Where possible, Masajid may introduce sanitizing booths for congregants entering the premises.
- Disinfecting agents, such as hand soap, hand sanitizers, sanitary wipes, etc. should be provided. Musallis must sanitize prior to entering the Masjid.
- Ablution facilities and toilets should be closed off, otherwise restricted to a bare minimum.
- In the instance of providing access to a minimal usage of the ablution facility, Masaajid should provide paper towels, in place of hand towels, as well as self-closing bins for appropriate disposal.
- All facilities, including carpets, should be disinfected as frequently as possible, preferably after every Salaah where possible.
- When required, deep cleaning of the premises should be conducted.
- It is recommended that the place of Sajdah be covered with a disposable sheet or a personal Musallaa (prayer mat).
- Rotation of Saff (rows) for every Salaah is also recommended.
- Disposable cups should be provided at water points with a caution against reuse.
- Extra care and protection should be provided to Imams, Mu-adhins and other staff.
Daily Congregational Salah Management
- The current regulation allows for the congregation of no more than fifty persons at one single time in one particular place, provided that this is achieved with the minimum requirement of social distancing between congregants. Therefore, there may be a need to implement a rotation system for congregational prayers, and especially for the Jumu’ah prayers.
- Where required, a system of rotation of congregations in multiple time slots should be advertised and implemented. The number of slots should be in proportion to the number of congregants for the particular Masjid.
- In order to regulate and manage the quantity of congregants per gathering, a register should be introduced for Musallis of the community to select a time slot for their congregational prayer.
- Each person should select a time slot beforehand and register for it with his contact details. He should ensure the performance of his Salah in congregation in his selected time slot. This method would also allow for easy tracing of congregants in the instance of a person confirmed to have been infected.
- A final common slot should be designated for miscellaneous persons, such as travellers, those that could not register their names, etc.
- If a person did not manage to perform his Salah in his congregational slot, then he should offer Salaah in congregation in the last common slot, otherwise at home.
- Although there may be no monitoring of the register, it is expected from every Musalli to be considerate of others and adhere, as much as possible, to his selected time slot.
- In the safety of all congregants it is required that spacing among Musallis be adhered to.
Daily Congregational Salaah
- Persons confirmed to be infected or may have possible symptoms should strictly abstain from attending the Masjid.
- The elderly, sickly and those with weak immunity are urged to perform their Salaah at home.
- In the case where a person has to perform Salaah at home, try to perform it in congregation with household members.
- A person confirmed to test positive to the infection should quarantine and perform Salah in isolation.
- Congregants are strongly urged to perform their ablution at home.
- Congregants are strongly encouraged to perform their Sunan and Nawaafil Salaah at home. If it is not possible, then one should do so at an advisable distance from others whilst in the Masjid.
- Imaams are requested to minimize the Qira’ah in their Salaah.
- Congregants are strongly discouraged to unnecessarily socialize prior and after Salaah.
- Performance of Jumu’ah is a salient feature of Islam and all effort should be made to perform it.
- Jumu’ah should be performed in smaller groups of fifty persons or less.
- Masjid committees should devise a roster to ensure that multiple congregations are held in a coordinated manner and at staggered times at the Masaajid. These arrangements should be clearly communicated to the community.
- If other venues are selected for the performance of Jumu’ah Salaah then they should be advertised in order to allow others to attend if they may not be able to perform Jumu’ah in the Masjid.
- The number of slots should be in proportion to the number of congregants for the particular Masjid.
- Should a person not be able to perform the Jumu’ah Salaah in the Masjid due to health reasons, he is required to perform Zuhr Salaah at home.
- The Jumu‘ah Khutbah and Salaah should be as concise as possible. Any key messages to the congregations should also be kept extremely brief or communicated via media platforms.
- It may be prudent to implement crowd control measures to guide congregants accordingly.
- A concise Khutbah may be sourced from any of the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa offices, or Ulama of the community may be consulted.
- All Masjid lectures and community programmes should be communicated via digital and social media platforms.
- A nikah may be performed in the Masjid, whilst ensuring that the participants do not exceed the stipulated quota. It should be conducted in the least possible time, without any additional activities. All administrative processes should be concluded prior to coming to the Masjid. Congratulating each other with embraces and handshakes should be avoided.
- Greeting with Salaam is necessary, however, should a person choose not to shake hands, it should be respected.