Annual Muis break-fast event held virtually; $52m in zakat for needy collected to date

SINGAPORE – Despite Covid-19 restrictions, mosques in Singapore like Masjid Hasanah have managed to continue doing outreach work both in the Muslim community and beyond.

The mosque, located in Teban Gardens, was able to work with the Ayer Rajah Community Club to distribute masks and hand sanitiser. It also assisted in vaccination outreach efforts to seniors.

These efforts earned it the People’s Association Community Spirit merit award last year.

Its achievements were lauded by President Halimah Yacob in her speech at a virtual breaking fast event hosted by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) on Friday evening (April 23).

The annual event is known as the Muis Buka Puasa.

Madam Halimah also spoke about the Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation (RLAF) – which translates into the Blessings to All Foundation.

The RLAF, along with other community organisations, has marked the holy month by helping the poor – working to distribute food to families living in rental flats near mosques and community clubs.

Madam Halimah said that despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic, the spirit of Ramadan remains alive and vibrant.

Muis said that although pandemic restrictions forced obligatory contributions known as zakat to be conducted online, $52 million has already been given by the Muslim community.

The monthly zakat assistance to families in need increased by 25 per cent from the year before, it added.

Madam Halimah said: “It is especially heartening to witness how our community continued to help one another, especially the vulnerable among us. “This is driven by the ethos of every Muslim to help those in need, regardless of race or religion.”

The event had around 110 attendees, comprising mosque leaders, volunteers and officers from Muis as well as diplomatic representatives from Muslim countries.

It was held in place of the usual annual dinner held at one of Singapore’s mosques. Mosques are currently not allowed to have communal dining.

Participants also had a virtual Quran hour – featuring the collective recitation of the sacred book of Muslims.

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Muis chief executive Esa Masood also gave a speech, which he opened with a pantun, a traditional Malay poem form. In it, he spoke of Ramadan as a month filled with blessings – matching the theme Muis has given this year’s celebrations.

He thanked the foreign ambassadors and embassy representatives for supporting Singaporean students abroad through the pandemic, and helping to bring some of them home.

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