People’s Action Party (PAP) parliamentarian Zainal Bin Sapari has asked employers to give Muslim men time off from 12.30pm to 2.30pm on Fridays for congregational prayers.

Revealing that it is a “serious and grave sin” for Muslim men to miss the Friday congregational prayers on three consecutive Fridays, Mr Zainal shared that he is making this appeal after he was approached by Muslim men who had difficulties in getting permission to attend Friday prayers.

Revealing that non-Muslims also sought advice on how to plan for meetings and events on Fridays, Mr Zainal advised: “The congregational Friday prayers are obligatory to all male muslims (unless unable to do so due to sickness, bad/heavy weather, long travel, or caring for someone) and usually performed in the mosque.”

Sharing that male Muslim staff would appreciate being given time off from 12.30pm onwards so they can beat the crowds to the nearby mosques before the official prayer call, Mr Zainal shared that “it would be reasonable to expect your MM staff to report back for work between 2.15 pm to 2.30 pm” given the length of the congregational prayers.

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He further advised employers that allowing male Muslim staff time off on Fridays would boost employee morale and make the employer a “Muslim-friendly” employer, the Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC recommended:

“In short, as a rule of thumb, allow your MM staff some time off between 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm would make you a muslim-friendly employer and you will definitely keep their morale at work high. Your MM staff would make up for the loss in company’s time by reporting to work earlier or leaving later in the day.

“I doubt any of your MM staff would abuse this concession because we know, trust lost is hard to regain back.”

Netizens responding to Mr Zainal’s post asked him to highlight this issue in Parliament. Read his post in full here: