Muslims who fail to perform Friday prayers three times in a row can be fined not exceeding RM1,000 or jailed for up to six months, or both, beginning June 1.
According to the Kedah Islamic Religious Department (JAIK), the offence comes under Section 13 of the Kedah Darul Aman Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment 2014, which was passed by the State Legislative Assembly last year.
“However, we will not be blindly issuing summonses for the offence. We will act based on public complaints, especially from those among their congregation,” said JAIK’s chief enforcement officer, Syeikh Ahmad Fisol Omar.
“If the offenders fail to cooperate, we will apply for a warrant of arrest from a Syariah Court judge,” he added at the news conference held at his office, here, Monday.
According to Syeikh Ahmad, the JAIK had received complaints on the presence of Muslim men at public places while Friday prayers were ongoing.
“Hopefully, the enforcement of the relevant law will reduce the number of Friday prayer truants,” he said.
Syeikh Ahmad said enforcement of Section 13 of the enactment should have begun last Feb 1, but JAIK’s Syariah Law Enforcement Division would only fully enforce it from June 1.
He said JAIK had organised a roadshow on the enforcement of the law in 12 districts for public knowledge and also distributed posters and copies of the circular to 568 mosques throughout the state on the law.
Syeikh Ahmad said members of the public could obtain complaint forms from the district islamic religious offices on Muslim individuals not attending Friday prayers, and the identity of the complainants would be kept confidential. – Bernama