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IN RAMADAN | Islamic scholar urges 50% capacity for all mosques




A MUSLIM scholar has urged mosque leaders to stick to the 50% accommodation policy on their Islamic churches as they start fasting for the month of Ramadhan today.

Aleem Muhammad Yusof Pasigan, the mufti of the Davao Region, said there is a need for a clear accommodation policy of mosques to prevent the repeat of what happened last year when people were turned away as they could no longer be accommodated.

“Last year, there were those who got angry because they were prevented from entering the mosques,” said Pasigan in an interview over the city government-run Davao City Disaster Radio.

Pasigan urged Imams and other leaders of the mosques, to announce the policy of a “first come first serve basis” so that their constituents will be informed that if they are late or the capacity of the mosques is beyond what is allowed, they must just pray in their homes.

“Those who will be late (and will be prevented from coming to the mosques) should not get angry,” he said.

Under the city government policy, religious establishments are only allowed to accommodate 50% of their capacity because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city is still under the General Community Quarantine until the end of the month.

On Tuesday, Muslims in the city will start fasting as part of the five pillars of Islam as fasting during Ramadhan can only start when the new moon is seen and will only end when the same new moon is seen in the month of Shawwal.

Under this theory of moon sighting, fasting or sawm in Arabic, is done in 29 to 30 days as, under the Hijrah calendar, a month is between 29 and 30 days based on the moon cycle.

During the month, those who are fasting do not eat anything, including water, and are also prohibited from engaging in sexual intercourse with their partners before sunrise until after sunset.

Exempted from fasting are children below puberty, pregnant and lactating mothers, those who are physically and mentally incapable, and travelers. To compensate for not being able to fast, except for travelers, these individuals have to fund those who will fast for them.

Travelers and women who are not allowed to fast during their menstrual cycle need to fast for the days that they miss within the months before the next Ramadhan.

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