COVID-19 pandemic affecting religious activities: VP Amin

COVID-19 pandemic affecting religious activities: VP Amin

Vice President Ma'ruf Amin delivering his speech at the 2021 National Santri Day commemoration event in Istana Negara, Jakarta, on Friday (Oct 22, 2021). ANTARA/HO-Setwapres.

Religious rituals could adjust with the existing condition if an extraordinary situation occurs
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The COVID-19 pandemic has affected religious activities and compelled religious scholars to reevaluate their religious views and past judgement, according to Vice President Ma'ruf Amin.

"The COVID-19 pandemic also affects religious activities. Ulemas and religious scholars throughout the world, primarily in Muslim-dominated countries, are compelled to reassess (i’adatu an-nadhar) their religious views and judgement rendered irrelevant by the pandemic," Amin noted in his speech delivered virtually for the 20th Annual International Conference on Islamic Studies (AICIS) opened in Surakarta on Monday.

Ulemas have declared new fatwas that allow relaxation of methods and procedures pertaining to religious activities to adapt to the pandemic and permit Muslims to continue to perform daily prayers and other religious rituals safely against potential COVID-19 infections.

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The new fatwas also allowed medical workers and COVID-19 patients to adjust their religious rituals and burial procedures of deceased patients to align with strict health protocols enforced in view of the pandemic emergency, Amin emphasized.

"Fatwas regarding economic instruments provide religious legitimacy for measures taken to address economic issues during the pandemic," the vice president stated.

Amin, an Islamic scholar, underlined that leeway provided to adjust religious activities during the pandemic is proof that Islam is adaptable and does not complicate human lives.

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"Religious rituals could adjust with the existing condition if an extraordinary situation occurs," the vice president stated.

Amin reminded that apart from health workers, religious scholars must play their role in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Handling of the COVID-19 pandemic is not only the responsibility of health officers but also the responsibility of religious scholars as the purpose of religion is to protect and guard its adherents," Amin affirmed.

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