About 150,000 people expected to perform prayers at Istiqlal Mosque

About 150,000 people expected to perform prayers at Istiqlal Mosque

Moslems in Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta. (ANTARA News/Akbar Gumay)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - About 100,000 to 150,000 Muslims are expected to perform Eid al-Fitr prayers at the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta on Sunday, the mosque spokesman Abu Hurairah Abdul Salam said.

Abdul Salam said on Saturday that the Istiqlal Mosque did not make any special preparations for the Eid prayer, although President Joko Wido (Jokowi) is scheduled to say his Eid al-Fitr prayer there.

"There is no special preparation, the preparations are made as usual. The congregation is predicted to reach about 100,000-150,000 Muslims," he said.

This number is far different from those performing prayers during the Eid al-Adha ritual, which who could reach 200,000 people. This is also partly due to the decreasing number of Jakarta residents as some of them go to their hometowns to celebrate the Eid festivities.

In connection with the plan of the president to perform the Eid prayer at the Istiqlal, Salam said that the mosque has entrusted the protocol programs to the Presidential Guard team to handle it.

"Because this is part of the state ceremony, all programs are entrusted to the presidential guard team," he stated.

Jokowi is scheduled to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in Jakarta and perform prayer at Istiqlal Mosque. He would also spend Eid al-Fitr eve at the Bogor Palace.

"Jokowi responded to journalists in Bogor after visiting former West Java governor Solihin Gautama Purwanegara, or popularly known as Mang Ihin, in Bandung, on Saturday.

The president had been celebrating Eid al-Fitr outside Jakarta for the past two years, namely in Aceh in 2015 and in Padang city of West Sumatra in 2016.

During his visit, the president performed Dzuhur (afternoon prayer) at Cipaganti Mosque.

Along with West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan and the mosque's officials, Jokowi conveyed Eid al-Fitr greeting to all Indonesian Muslims.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla and his wife, Mrs Mufidah Jusuf Kalla, will also perform the Eid prayers at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta on Sunday.

"After the prayer with the residents of Jakarta and surrounding areas, Kalla and his wife will head to the State Palace for a halal bi halal (post-fasting cordial gathering) with Jokowi and the first lady. The vice president will accompany the president in receiving Eid well-wishers in an open house program until noon," Vice Presidential Spokesman Husain Abdullah stated in Jakarta on Saturday.

After accompanying Jokowi in a gathering at the State Palace, the vice president will hold an open house for the public at the Vice President's office, Menteng, Central Jakarta.