Johor Sultan issues religious restrictions for Muslims during MCO 2.0

Sultan Ibrahim said in order to comply with the MCO, several considerations have been made in accordance to the principle of maqasid Syariah, which is to safeguard lives. — Picture courtesy of Johor Royal Press Office
Sultan Ibrahim said in order to comply with the MCO, several considerations have been made in accordance to the principle of maqasid Syariah, which is to safeguard lives. — Picture courtesy of Johor Royal Press Office

JOHOR BARU, Jan 13 — Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar of Johor today spelt out the religious restrictions on Muslims in the state that is now under the revived movement control order (MCO).

Expressing his concern over the recent surge in new Covid-19 positive cases, Sultan Ibrahim who is also the head of Islam in Johor said his decree is to safeguard the welfare of Muslims during the pandemic.

He said the imposition of the MCO by the government in Johor, which starts today until January 26, is an effort to stop and break Covid-19 chain.

“I fully support efforts to make sure that the country, especially the state, is protected and free from the pandemic,” he said in a statement on his official Facebook page today.

Sultan Ibrahim said in order to comply with the MCO, several considerations have been made in accordance with the principle of maqasid Syariah, which is to safeguard lives.

The restrictions included the daily five prayers, including the Friday congregational prayers at mosques and suraus, where there must not be more than 12 congregants, that will include those involved as the mosque and surau officials as well as their respective committee members.

The 62-year-old state Ruler said that among the activities that can be held at mosques and suraus statewide were the solat jenazah, where only 12 people were allowed to perform the prayers while the tazkir and tahrim must be done by the mosques or surau officials.

He added that the solat hajat to accompany the five daily prayers and Friday prayers were allowed, but activities which requires longer time such as religious classes and talks, Quranic programmes and other events will not be allowed.

“For activities at Muslim cemeteries, the burying of a decease will be limited to not more than 20 people consisting of workers and relatives,” said Sultan Ibrahim, adding that visiting a grave will not be allowed during the MCO period.

On Muslim marriages in the state, Sultan Ibrahim said that solemnisation or the akad nikah ceremony were only allowed at the district kadi’s office, where it is only limited to the couple and their wali coming from the same district and have the approval for the marriage prior to the MCO.

He explained that for couples that have their marriage approved prior to the MCO but they are either outside the district or state, their solemnisation ceremony must be postponed and rescheduled to another date by the office.

“For those wanting to apply for marriage approval, including registration and polygamy, it will be postponed during the entire MCO period,” he said.

On a related matter, Sultan Ibrahim said other religious affairs including those involving divorce, nikah certification cards, or collecting of documents can be done at the district kadi‘s office.

The latest lockdown initiative under the MCO was announced two days ago by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The strictest conditions, which prohibits all non-essential movement and businesses from operating, have been placed on Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Putrajaya, Penang, Johor, and Labuan where daily Covid-19 cases have been the highest.

Six others ― Pahang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu, and Kelantan ― have been placed under conditional MCO or CMCO, a slightly relaxed iteration of the order. Only two states: Perlis and Sarawak, are currently in the recovery phase of the MCO.

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