Akad nikah allowed with conditions

Recent update: A man reading a notice on the Covid-19 SOP at a mosque in Kuala Lumpur. — RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

JOHOR BARU: Muslim couples, including those from outside Johor, can carry out the akad nikah or marriage solemnisation starting today.

This came after Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar’s decree that akad nikah as well as congregational five daily prayers and Friday prayers are now allowed during MCO 2.0.

State Islamic religious affairs committee chairman Tosrin Jarvanthi said His Majesty issued the decree following advice from the National Security Council and Health Ministry.

He said the akad nikah ceremony could only take place at the district kadi office or Johor Islamic Religious Department and that only six people were allowed to attend it.

“They are the bridegroom, bride, “wali” (bride’s guardian), two witnesses and a marriage official.

“Couples who are either within Johor or from outside the state must have travel approval from the authorities and must undergo the Rapid Test Antigen some 72 hours before the akad nikah ceremony.

“Wedding receptions, however, are still barred in the state as the event involves mass gatherings, ” he said at a press conference yesterday.

Tosrin added that more than 18,000 marriage applications were received last year and since MCO 2.0 started on Jan 13, an average of 35 applications were received daily.

On the congregational five daily prayers and Friday prayers, he said a congregation was limited to 40 individuals excluding the imam, bilal and mosque committee members.

“Persons must be aged 10 years and above, wear face masks at all times, free from any Covid-19 symptoms, perform ablutions at home and bring their own prayer mats.

“Friday prayers and congressional daily prayers involve 814 mosques in the state, ” he said, adding that the Johor Religious Council allowed 216 surau from 1,928 surau in the state to hold Friday prayers.

The Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) has allowed the akad nikah to be held at all mosques and at Jawi offices in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan from yesterday.

According to the guidelines issued by Jawi, only five people are allowed to attend the ceremony, namely the bridegroom, bride, wali and two representatives of the couple.

The marriage official and two witnesses are from Jawi and the mosque where the ceremony is held.

“For bridegrooms and brides from different states that are in red zones, the number of attendees is also restricted to five people, ” according to the guidelines updated on Sunday.

According to the guidelines, the akad nikah is only allowed for couples who have obtained marriage permission from Jawi as well as their respective state Islamic religious departments.

This includes couples from other states who have obtained marriage permission from Jawi and their HIV screening test results are still valid when the solemnisation ceremony takes place.

The marriage permission letter that has expired during the MCO period will be extended for two months from the date the approval ends, but the applicant must go to a Jawi office to extend the validity period.

There are also specific conditions set for the solemnisation ceremony including the parties involved must first set an appointment with Jawi to get the date and time.

All parties involved must follow the date and time set by the registrar or assistant registrar or the ceremony may be cancelled if they fail to be present.

Those involved in the ceremony must be without Covid-19 symptoms, have had no close contact with individuals confirmed to be Covid-19 positive, are not under the Home Surveillance and Observation Order and not from enhanced movement control order areas.

The bridegroom, bride and her guardian are also required to undergo swab tests before the ceremony and the negative test results must be submitted to Jawi as evidence to enable the akad nikah to proceed.

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