5,000-strong congregation can pray at Tawau’s Al-Kauthar mosque from today, says mosque chairman

Muslims perform Friday prayers outside the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur May 15, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Muslims perform Friday prayers outside the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur May 15, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

TAWAU, June 19 — About 5,000 people are allowed to attend the five daily and Friday prayers at the Al-Kauthar Mosque Tawau near here starting today, said its chairman Khalid Mohd Tahir.

He said the decision was made after the Sabah Fatwa Council decided to allow the five daily and Friday prayers in Sabah based on the actual capacity of the mosque or surau.

“The Al-Kauthar Mosque can accommodate up to 17,000 worshippers at a time, and from the results of the ruling, this mosque can accommodate up to 5,000 Muslims.

“It also takes into account the ability of the management of the mosque to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP) such as social distancing,” he said when met by reporters after Friday prayers at Al-Kauthar Mosque Tawau, here, today.

Khalid said 1,100 Muslims attended Friday prayers after the Al-Kauthar Mosque was opened to the public from 10am today.

In the meantime, he also advised the public to maintain social order during exiting and entering the mosque to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Today, the mosque management had to ask the police for help to disperse the people who did not want to move and insisted on performing Friday prayers despite the fact that it was meant for only for 40 people.

This was due to a misunderstanding of the congregation over the announcement by Minister of the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad, about the authorisation of Friday prayers involving one-third of the capacity of the mosque, which actually only applies to the Federal Territories. — Bernama

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