BARMM’s religious authority issues fatwa extending the suspension congregational prayers to prevent COVID-19 spread

The office of the Regional Darul Ifta’ (RDI) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) issued on Tuesday (April 7) a fatwa (religious guideline) extending the temporary suspension of congregational prayers in mosques to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 .
“The temporary suspension of the congregational jum’ah prayers all over the BARMM is indefinitely suspended while waiting for the appropriate time for us to relax it,” Sheikh Abuhuraira A. Udasan, Mufti of the BARMM, announced the fatwa over RDI’s Facebook page.

Udasan, head of the RDI, noted the rapid spread of pandemic COVID-19 worldwide claiming thousands of lives and he cited that they see not to compromise the Bangsamoro people but to take more precaution and preventive measures.

Last March 19, RDI issued a pronouncement urging the suspension of Friday and other congregational prayers in big and small mosques all over the Bangsamoro region until April 10 to fight the rapid spread of the corona virus. 

Islam mandates male Muslims to attend congregational prayer on Friday noon in mosques. It is also mandatory for male Muslims to perform the five times a day prayer in congregation at mosque or any designated prayer areas.

As of April 8, 2020, the Bangsamoro Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 recorded 7,785 Persons Under Monitoring, eight confirmed cases of COVID-19, three deaths and the three recovered.

During the Laging Handa Press Briefing on April 7, 2020 the Minister of Ministry of the Interior and Local Government and BARMM spokesperson, lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, said regional government has already extended assistance to its Local Government Units to cater the needs of their constituents.

He conveyed that BARMM’s LGUs have already already implemented community quarantine aimed at containing the COVID-19 spread.

RDI was established in the Autonomous Region in 2015 through the passage of Muslim Mindanao Act 323 by the Regional Legislative Assembly based on the prescription of the Section 20, Article VII of Republic Act 9054.

The body is mandated to promulgate and issue fatwa or legal opinion on a point of Islamic law with consideration of universally accepted methodology and the reality that the BARMM is part of a secular republic.