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Advisory to dormitory operators - Resumption of congregational prayer at dormitories

Issued on 11 November 2022

  1. With the easing of Safe Management Measures, Muslim congregational prayers will be fully resumed at dormitories from 1 December 2022. The table below shows the various types of Muslim congregational prayers that can be conducted in the dormitories:
    Types of Muslim congregational prayers Approved Dorm Imam Requirement?
    (Yes/ No)
    Daily prayer (Supplication / Dua prayer) No
    (if there is no sermon recitation and preaching)
    Ramadan / Tarawih prayer (before Hari Raya Puasa)
    Hari Raya Puasa (Eid prayer)
    Hari Raya Haji (Eid prayer)
    Weekly Friday prayer Yes
    (Sermon can be downloaded from Muis website)
  2. We seek dormitory operators' assistance to facilitate such congregational request subject to space availability and to note the following requirements for congregational prayers:
    Police Permit
    • An approved police permit under the Public Order Act will be required if the prayer location is open to members of public or workers from other dormitories. No permit is required if it is for dormitory residents only.
    • Dormitory operator can apply online at GoBusiness Licensing for police permit.
    Prayer Space
    • Dormitory operator is to ensure adequate measures are in place for the safe conduct of congregational prayers.
    • Areas set aside for religious worship must not be for the exclusive use of any one religion or group.
    • There must be a booking system of the designated area within the dormitory premises for usage as a prayer space.
    • There must be no permanent display of religious tokens.
    • Dormitory operator to provide closed cabinets and cupboards with locks for the various religious groups to separately keep their religious items.
    Approved Dorm Imam
    • As a guide, all Class 4 dormitories or dormitories with significant number of Muslim worker population, should consider minimally one approved Dorm Imam.
    • Preferably, the Dorm Imam’s work permit should be valid for one year or longer at the point of application.
    • Dormitory operator is to ensure your Dorm Imam meets Muis pre-assessment and interview requirements in para 3.
    • Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will facilitate the Dorm Imam application process. Application must be made one month in advance to arrange for the interview.
  3. The guidelines on “Pre-Assessment and Interview for Dorm Imam” were introduced in October 2021. MOM in consultation with Muis have revised the guidelines and the key changes are:
    Dorm Imam Guidelines for Dormitory Operators Key Changes
    Annex A’s para 2(a) and 2(b):
    Revised pre-assessment guidelines
    • Previously, up to 9 candidates per dormitory can be interviewed. It is revised to only allow up to 4 candidates per dormitory with 1 candidate per 30 minutes interview session. This will allow Muis to better manage the number of interviewers required to be deployed.
    • Previously, interview sessions were conducted from 5pm to 8pm. It is now revised to be conducted from 5pm to 7pm only. This will allow Muis to better schedule the interview timings for their interviewers and allow the interviewers to carry out their religious prayer duties or personal prayers after 7pm.
    Annex B: Role of an approved Dorm Imam
    • Clarify on the role of Dorm Imam.
    FAQs
    • Common queries from dormitory operators about Dorm Imam matters.
  4. Should you have any queries on Dorm Imam and interview, approach the respective FAST officer from ACE overseeing your dormitory.
  5. If you plan to organise congregational prayers within your dormitory premises, notify the respective FAST officer from ACE liaising with you on dormitory matters.
  6. Thank you for your kind effort in supporting your residents’ mental health and spiritual well-being.
  7. For further queries, please contact us at .

Annex A - Revised pre-assessment guidelines to enable a more effective interview session

  1. Pre-assessment selection of Muslim worker for Dorm Imam:
    1. Basic Islamic religious qualification such as Dakhil, Alim, Fazil, Kamil, Mufti, or Hafiz preferred. If Hafiz, to ascertain the number of surahs/juz/chapters from the Quran the Muslim worker can memorise.
    2. Must recite with clear and proper pronunciation for Surah (chapter) Al-Fatiha from Al-Quran, and preferably recite another Surah from Al-Quran.
    3. Must recite Azan and Iqamah (calls to prayer) with clear and proper pronunciation.
    4. Prior experience leading congregational prayers is preferred.
    5. The ability to speak, read, and write simple English is required.
  2. Facilitation of Dorm Imam interview:
    1. You can submit up to four Muslim workers per dormitory as candidates.
    2. Interviews are conducted only on weekdays between 5pm to 7pm and schedules are fixed.
    3. You are to ensure the room or facility is conducive for Muslim workers to have the virtual interview with an MRO (Mosque Religious Officer) interviewer. The room must be well lit with no background noise coming from the room or its surrounding area.
    4. You are to ensure that there is a working laptop with virtual meeting platforms installed, such as Zoom, and have access to stable Wi-Fi or Internet. Mobile phone is not acceptable.

Annex B - Role of an approved Dorm Imam

  1. Dorm Imam to recite Muis’ official sermons only.
  2. Dorm Imam can lead congregational prayers for:
    • Daily prayer
    • Friday prayer
    • Qiyamullail prayer
    • Tarawih prayer during Ramadan
    • Eid prayer during Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji
    • Supplication / Dua prayer
  3. For any other congregational prayers, dormitory operators must seek approval from Muis through the respective FAST officer from ACE.
  4. Dorm Imam must not preach or teach religious content to an individual or group in the dormitory or public area.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Is it compulsory to provide a laptop with Wi-Fi or Internet and a dedicated room with quiet environment for conducting Dorm Imam interviews?

    It is compulsory for interested dormitories to accommodate and ensure the interview is smooth and seamless. The MRO must be able to hear and see the candidate with clarity in order to give a fair assessment of the candidate’s suitability for the role of Dorm Imam.

  2. For candidates who are unable to attend the interview, can it be rescheduled within the same period or batch?

    This is subject to availability of interview slots in the current batch.

  3. How often is the interview scheduled?

    The interview is scheduled at least a month before major prayer events, such as Tarawih and Eid prayer, and is subject to requests from dormitories. Muis must be informed in advance to prepare the necessary.

  4. When will the Dorm Imam results be announced?

    It will be announced one to two weeks from the date of application.

  5. Can Dorm Imam previously approved by Muis prior to this revised guideline still lead congregational prayers?

    Dorm Imam approved by Muis after June 2021 can continue to lead congregational prayers.

    For applications approved before June 2021,

    • Approved Dorm Imam (with sermon recitation) can continue to lead congregational prayers for Tarawih, Eid, Daily and Friday prayers inclusive of sermon.
    • Approved Dorm Imam (without sermon recitation) can only lead in Tarawih, Eid and Daily prayers.

    Please contact the respective FAST officer from ACE should you need further clarification.

  6. Can Dorm Imam who relocated to another dormitory perform Dorm Imam role at their new dormitory residence?

    Yes, Dorm Imam can continue to perform the role at his new dormitory residence.