SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Nightly congregational tarawih prayers have resumed at void decks across the Republic for the first time since the pandemic.
Muslims here began fasting for the month of Ramadan on Thursday (March 23), with the prayers beginning from Wednesday night.
The special prayers, which Muslims perform only during Ramadan, are held mainly at mosques.
Spaces at the void decks of Housing Board blocks have also served as locations for over 30 years. This practice, however, was halted from 2020 owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the time, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) issued a guidebook with instructions as to how Muslims could perform tarawih prayers at home.
In 2021 and 2022, mosques welcomed back worshippers for the prayers but at limited capacities.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that several qaryah, or community groups, had been given the green light to hold the congregational prayers at void decks during the fasting month.
He said that many qaryah groups had expressed their wish to hold tarawih prayers at void decks.
Lee added: “I am glad that after discussions with Muis, we have come to an understanding, and Muis has been able to allow many qaryah groups to proceed with their original plans.”
He wished all Muslims a “blessed and meaningful Ramadan”, and also urged non-Muslims to participate in breaking fast with their Muslim friends and visit the Ramadan bazaars during the festive season.
On March 13, Muis had announced that tarawih prayers would be conducted at all 67 mosques across Singapore, with 10 of them requiring bookings due to limited space and high demand.