One of the largest mosques in Jakarta, Istiqlal Mosque, will not be as crowded as it was in previous Ramadan years. (Image via Asia Travel Gate)

Istiqlal Mosque: No mass breaking fast and tarawih service for 2020

A well-known Islamic mosque in Jakarta, Istiqlal Mosque, stated that it will not hold tarawih prayer service for the 2020 Ramadan due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the region. Speaking on Thursday, the Head of Public Relations of Istiqlal Mosque, Abu Hurairah, made the announcement.

Certainly, the atmosphere of Ramadan in Jakarta will be different than the years before. Abu also said that Istiqlal will not hold any religious services, activities, nor will it receive any visit from any parties during the Ramadan month. The closure will be extended to 22 May.

Activities such as breaking fast together, I’tikaf, or any Ramadan festivities which was annually observed had to be canceled.

Should you insist to visit the mosque, no one will be there. In a separate statement, all staff of Istiqlal Mosque was also told to stay at home until 22 May, after the announcement of the extension of the large-scale social distancing (PSBB). While the mosque is being renovated, due to the PSBB, the renovation needs to wait for a moment. Therefore, for the 2020 Ramadan, Muslims are forced to observe it at home.

Previously, Istiqlal Mosque had announced a no-Friday prayer policy during the PSBB period in Jakarta to prevent a larger COVID-19 outbreak.