MUI, Muhammadiyah advise public to hold Idul Fitri prayers at home during pandemic

first_imgThe Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) and Muhammadiyah have advised Muslims in the country to avoid conducting Idul Fitri prayers in large congregations at mosques due to the pandemic.Traditionally, Idul Fitri prayers, which this year are expected to be held on May 24 when Ramadan ends, are conducted in mosques and open spaces, involving hundreds to thousands of people. With the government’s large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), which were implemented to help curb the spread of COVID-19, conducting prayers in the traditional way would pose major health risks. The MUI issued a fatwa on the matter on Wednesday, allowing Idul Fitri prayers at home in areas where COVID-19 has spread “uncontrollably”. However, Muslims in areas where the virus is largely controlled can hold Idul Fitri prayers as normal.”Idul Fitri prayers can be performed at home in congregations with family members or individuals, especially in areas where COVID-19 has spread uncontrollably,” MUI Fatwa Council chair Hasanuddin said in a statement on Wednesday.It also called on Muslims, the government and the community to hold takbiran, a way to celebrate the eve of Idul Fitri, but in a less festive way. During the pandemic, takbiran, which includes takbir (recitation of God is great), is a prayer for humanity in overcoming the coronavirus.The MUI suggested that takbiran be held at homes, mosques as led by takmir (mosque management) and on the road with limited participants, as well as aired on television, the radio and social media. Muhammadiyah, one of the biggest Islamic organizations in the country, issued a circular on Thursday on Idul Fitri prayer guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.It suggested that the prayers be performed at home to “break the chain” of COVID-19 infections and as a precautionary measure to prevent the current situation from getting worse. “Idul Fitri prayers should be performed at home with family members in the same way as in public spaces,” Muhammadiyah chairman Haedar Nashir said.The organization said that, according to Islamic perspective, self-protection, both body and soul, was important as Surah al-Maidah, verse 32 of the Quran, emphasized: “Whoever saves a life, it is as if they had saved mankind entirely.”Both the MUI and Muhammadiyah said that the public Idul Fitri prayers were not obligatory, but rather sunnah (voluntary act of worship), and performing the activities at home would not reduce the religious value of them. The eve of Idul Fitri and the day of the Muslim festivities have yet to be decided, pending an isbat (confirmation meeting) to be held by the Religious Affairs Ministry and the MUI on May 22. The meeting is to be attended by several Islamic mass organizations.Previously, the MUI issued a fatwa on Friday prayers during the pandemic. On March 16, it said that Muslims in areas where COVID-19 had spread “uncontrollably” were “not permitted to perform the Friday prayers in those areas until the situation returns to normal”.The Health Ministry announced 568 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number of infections nationwide to 16,006, with 1,043 deaths and 3,518 recoveries.In comparison, Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, the highest religious authority in the kingdom, had said prayers during Ramadan and the subsequent Idul Fitri festival should be performed at home should the coronavirus outbreak continue, a Saudi newspaper reported as quoted by aljazeera.com.Meanwhile, Muslim-majority Malaysia started easing its ban on mass prayers in mosques on Friday, the Malaysian government said, as it gradually relaxes curbs that have helped rein in the coronavirus, according to straitstimes.com.Topics :last_img read more

Path, Port make for first PASS double

first_imgThe 1/4-mile mountainside Path Valley track at Spring Run will see IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars in an action-packed Saturday, June 13 program. Gates open at 4 p.m. with warm-ups beginning at 6 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $3 for students 10 and under. By Frank Buhrman Social distancing norms will be observed at the Port (masks optional), but no waivers will be required.  COVID-19 waiver forms will be required Saturday and may be printed out from the track website and completed in advance. Social distancing standards will be observed with masks optional. This will be the first of five Path Valley races on the 2020 PASS schedule; early registration showed 26 teams already planning to attend.center_img Port Royal Speedway will be hosting its first races this weekend at the historic Juniata County Fairgrounds in Port Royal. Gates open Sunday, June 14 at 3 p.m. with racing set to start at 6 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for students. Pit passes are $30. SPRING RUN, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Sprint Series will race at both Path Valley Motor Speedway and Port Royal Speedway this weekend, its first “double” in the corona virus-delayed 2020 season. This race will make up for one of the Port dates lost during the virus shutdown for sports; Port Royal generally draws the largest average fields of any regular PASS track.last_img read more

Schelling: Spring game squads uneven

first_imgIn summer, there’s baseball; in fall, you get football; and in winter, it’s basketball. But what about spring?Spring and… football? They’re two words that just don’t seem to go together, unless of course you happen to be a part of a Division I college football program.The annual spring football games are nothing more than glorified scrimmages in which teammates go head-to-head in an effort to showcase their comparative talent.Still, thousands of fans flocked to stadiums across the country this month to catch even the slightest glimpse of what their respective teams might look like in the fall. In return, the teams give the fans what they want: football.It seems people in this country just cannot get enough of football these days. Even on a day in the middle of April when they could be enjoying the outdoors, hitting the links or taking in a ballgame, many Americans apparently would rather watch their favorite college program’s first string dismantle the backups.This is the biggest problem in the spring football game at the University of Wisconsin. Rather than pit offensive and defensive starters on opposite teams, they put them together to run up the score against the second-stringers.So really, when you have a guy like Zach Brown racking up 110 yards on just 14 carries Saturday, can you really learn anything from such a feat?The short answer is no.Sure, Brown can carry the ball for nearly eight yards per carry against guys that aren’t likely to start a game all season, but can he do it against a Big Ten-caliber defense? Well, the first step in figuring that out would be to have him face the No. 1 defense.And it’s not like they don’t practice against the defensive starters in a regular practice setting anyway. So, if the offense is used to going against a tougher caliber of defender to begin with, why make it easy on them in the spring game?Perhaps, it’s done to build the confidence of the No. 1 offense. Or, perhaps, they believe the No. 2 line will learn more from facing the first-string than the first-string will lose from facing the second-string.Regardless of the basis of such a decision, it seems to be a poor one.Likewise, the Badgers’ No. 1 defense impressed in Saturday’s outing, not allowing a single offensive touchdown while recording seven “sacks.” But does it really matter if J.J. Watt and O’Brien Schofield can get two hands on backups Jon Budmayr and Scott Tolzien?Or would it be more useful for everyone involved to see how Watt and Schofield fare against the No. 1 offensive line and quarterbacks Curt Phillips and Dustin Sherer?It’s likely the latter would be more effective practice for all players involved, and though there may not be nearly as many points scored, it would be more exciting for fans as well.Aside from the lack of marquee matchups (Jaevery McFadden versus John Clay, anyone?), the biggest hole in the concept of the spring football game is the game atmosphere.Fans who want to watch their teams scrimmage in the month of April still appear to be in the minority, leaving two-thirds of Camp Randall Stadium roped off and empty for the game Saturday. And when it started raining in the second quarter, many in the (roughly) estimated crowd of 23,500 at the free event headed for cover, and eventually the exits.With what appeared to be fewer than 5,000 fans remaining for the second half, the “game” then felt exactly like what it really was: the 15th of 15 spring football practices.Still, fans can’t be blamed too much for leaving early. With kickoffs eliminated and punt returns limited to fair catches, all the intensity that usually surrounds a change of possession was stripped from the game in the name of safety.Maybe, instead the Badgers could have instituted a similar rule on kickoffs as they had with quarterback sacks. Rather than risk injury with a tackle, blow the play dead when a defender touches the ball carrier.Sure, this might eliminate some of the more impressive returns that come after initial contact, but if a returner manages to sprint down the sideline untouched, it will bring immensely more excitement to the spring game than starting each possession at the 30-yard line.Unfortunately, because of the nature of the game of football, we’ll have to wait until September to see any real-game action. Until then, there’s always baseball, right?Jordan is a junior majoring in journalism and political science. Think Saturday’s spring game could have been better? Let him know at [email protected]last_img read more