Muslims are allowed to attend the mosque after 9 p.m. during the fasting month of Ramadan to practise their religion. The nightly walk to the mosque also constitutes a valid reason. This was clarified by the district authority of Märkische Kreis on Monday, thus overturning its own statement of last Friday.
In a statement released on Monday, the district of Märkisch Kreis said: “The fasting month of Ramadan begins for many Muslims in the Märkisch Kreis on Tuesday, April 13. Due to the Corona pandemic, many things are different than usual this year as well.” The district appeals to all Muslims to adhere to the restrictions on contact in public and private spaces during Ramadan as well.
The Märkischer Kreis knows that Ramadan is an important part of the Islamic faith. Already last year, the Ramadan month was affected by many restrictions due to the Corona pandemic. This year’s Ramadan will also be different from what many Muslims are used to, according to the district office.
The crisis team of the Märkischer Kreis appeals to the sense of responsibility of Muslim fellow citizens to perform their religious duties and prayers in the mosque or privately with their own household. Inviting friends and families to break the fast together should be avoided due to the current pandemic situation. During Ramadan, Muslims are only allowed to eat and drink after sunset and before sunrise. On Tuesday, the sun sets at 8.23 pm.
The regulations for religious services and other gatherings for the practice of religion made by § 1 section 3 of the CoronaSchVO are not affected by the general decree issued by the Märkischer Kreis. Attendance at a religious service or other gathering for the practice of religion in accordance with section 1(3) of the CoronaSchVO is subject to letter h) of the exceptions to point I of the general decree. This also applies to attendance at the mosque.
On Friday, the Märkische Kreis had answered an enquiry of this newspaper (“Are meetings for religious reasons also possible after 9 p.m. if the number of participants is limited and a hygiene concept is presented by the organiser?”) differently: “Such meetings are still permitted according to the Corona Protection Ordinance, but are not considered as one of the exceptions to lift the exit restriction, i.e. to leave one’s own home (or the home of one’s partner/spouse/etc.)/to be in public space,” the district office said. According to this, the way to the mosque and back would not be covered by the public order. So now the 180-degree turnaround:
As the Märkischer Kreis declared in a statement on Monday, “there is a weighty reason to go home directly from the place of worship even after 9 p.m. – that is, for the journey to and from the place of worship, visitors are exempt from the curfew.” Mosque associations can issue certificates. A credible explanation is sufficient as justification. Several mosque associations from the Märkischer Kreis had told our newspaper on Monday that they would generally refrain from holding events in the mosques due to the pandemic situation.