The recently declared pandemic of COVID-19 has gripped the world in fear and hysteria; however, such a generational event presents a unique opportunity of spiritual introspection for a believer, rather than the emotion, which gives rise to frenzied, irrational conduct.
Pondering the Qur’an, we find that Allah Ta’ala reassures us that life is ultimately dependent upon Him. When misfortune strikes, the fragile nature of life becomes ever apparent, and we tend to forget that it is Allah Ta’ala who gives life and causes death; and that none, save Him, can do so. We find that Allah Ta’ala emphasis that all that transpires in existence does so at His decree:
“Say, ‘Never will happen to us except what Allāh has decreed for us; He is our Protector.’ And upon
Allah let the believers place their trust/reliance.” [9:51]
In addition, we are ever reminded that in times of calamity and adversity, ultimate saviour lies in returning, repenting and humbling ourselves before His Majesty:
“Then why, when Our punishment came to them, did they not humble themselves? But their hearts became hardened, and Satan made attractive to them that which they were doing.” [6:43]
Following the latest rulings (fatwa’s) from many reputable scholars, several Shari’ah Boards, as well as the latest UK governmental guidance and advice from medical organisations, the undersigned mosques have taken the unprecedented and difficult move to suspend all congregational services and activities. This is a decision that was not taken lightly and has been done to prevent the further spread of the virus in our mosques and the UK at large, with the foremost being the protection of the elderly and vulnerable amongst our communities.
All mosques and faith institutions have a duty of care towards their communities. A unanimously agreed upon legal maxim in the Shari’ah states that: preservation of life takes precedence over the public commission of significant acts of worship, as well as the principle: Harm is to be removed. For these reasons, the undersigned are cancelling all major activities at their mosques, effective from the date of this statement, as a temporary measure. This includes:
· Jumu’ah prayers
· Daily congregational prayers
· Madrasah and educational classes, conferences and other regular lectures.
We ask everyone to pray salah at home, this includes Jumu’ah, which should be replaced with the normal dhuhr (mid-day prayer consisting of 4 raka’at) prayer. Our mosques and Islamic centres shall ensure that telephone and online consultations with imams are regularly available during this period. We heavily advise communities to resort to their local Mosques and established organisations for Islamic advice and rulings. We also urge them to heed governmental advice regarding social interactions and precautions, all with the aim of reducing and containing the spread of the virus- both of which are ethical and Islamic objectives and protecting the most vulnerable in our communities.
The onset of mass self-isolation gives the opportunity to reconnect with Allah ta’ala in moments of seclusion rarely gifted in today’s world, allowing us to rediscover the Qur’an in preparation for Ramadan, praying Jema’ah with our family or performing additional acts of worship that have been largely ignored. We should also seek to serve our community and the creation in a safe manner, reducing risk to the vulnerable in our communities and observing the communal, collective obligation of assisting one another, with affection and compassion.
Coordination Council of Mosques 18/03/2020
❖ The Islamic Cultural Centre & London Central Mosque ❖ Al Manaar – Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre
❖ Al Muntada Al Islami
❖ Al Nagashi Mosque & Centre
❖ Al Salaam Islamic Centre
❖ Al Farooq Education and Community Centre Glasgow ❖ Banbury Sheikh Bin Baaz Masjid
❖ Birmingham Central Mosque
❖ East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre
❖ Edinburgh Central Mosque
❖ Finsbury Park Mosque
❖ Glasgow Central Mosque
❖ Green Lane Mosque
❖ Jamiat e Ulama Britain
❖ Manchester Central Mosque
❖ Markazi Jamiat Ahlehadith UK
❖ Masjid Al Tawhid
❖ Mayfair Islamic Centre
❖ Muslim Welfare House
❖ West London Islamic Centre – Ealing