’Plain mosques choose to remain closed until further notice

Darus Salaam Masjid in Lost City has been open irrespective of the national Covid-19 lockdown. These workers have been serving meals and distributing food parcels like they do every other month.

Most Mitchell’s Plain mosques will remain closed despite President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Tuesday May 26 that faith-based institutions may open their doors, subject to certain regulations, with the start of Level 3 on Monday June 1.

This is in accordance with a statement by the Imamat Council of Mitchell’s Plain, who sent out a community notice dated Sunday May 31 to update residents on whether masajid (mosques) would open the next day.

Only Masjid Al Khair in Rondevlei and Darus Salaam in Lost City would be opened but the Tafelsig mosque would not be open for Jumu’ah (Friday congregational prayers).

It listed 22 masajid, which would not open and seven which had not yet confirmed their status.

The seven are Bayview, Kapteinsklip, Mandalay, Markaz Islamiy in Baakens Road Portland; Masjid Ridhaa in Rocklands, Town Centre and Westgate Masjid.

The notice encourages the community to adhere to strict adherence to physical distancing, regular hand washing and sanitisation “all guidelines that will curb the spread of Covid-19 and help flatten the curve”.

“We motivate everyone to make fervent du’ah to Almighty Allah to remove the pandemic and restore the health of those who were infected, Aameen,” read the statement.

The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) has called for caution and that masajid delay opening its doors for congregational prayers for at least another month.

In a media statement, they urged mosques who decide to open to adhere to strict safety regulations, which would be
made available by the government. “Strict adherence to these regulations is a must for the safety and welfare of congregants.

“We also recommend a staggered approach and to not start with 50 people but to rather slowly phase in the amount of people, starting from a small number to gradually increasing the number,” read the statement dated Thursday May 28.

The MJC said their decisions followed consultation with medical professionals, working on the front line and who were analysing the progression of the infection in the Western Cape, which is the epicentre of the epidemic in the country.

They predicted that the peak would be reached at the end of June, after which the level of infection would be maintained for a sustained period before sloping downward, read the statement.

Representatives from various faith groups had made representations to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), who had decided that the doors of mosques, churches and synagogues should be opened under Level 3.