As Muslims begin to prepare for the month of Ramadan, the NHS has issued a reminder to those who observe the Islamic holy month to avoid social gatherings because of the risks to speading coronavirus.
Empowerment would like to share local factual resources for people living in Blackpool and the Fylde:
- NHS England have provided information on how to stay safe and stop the spread of Coronavirus during the month of Ramadan. Read this here
- Additional NHS guidance and advice for healthcare professionals can be found here. This has been issued to NHS managers and staff working in hospitals and healthcare settings to cover adjustments over working hours and fasting arrangements for Muslim colleagues who are not eating or drinking during daylight hours until evening sunset.
- The Muslim Council of Britain have produced guidance to support Muslims and mosques in making the most of Ramadan from home socially and spiritually, from hosting and attending virtual iftars to tuning in to and setting up livestream services at mosques. This can be found here
- Ramadan Tent Project have created #MyOpenIftar and are sending out packs with everything you need to create beautiful Iftar experiences at home. Click here to read more
Blackpool Central Mosque shared a notice on 18th March 2020 for their members. It reads:
Dearest congregation members, Insha Allah, this message finds you in the best of health. It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this on behalf of the executive committee of Central Mosque Blackpool. You are all aware of the situation that has gripped the world. After much thought, deliberation and consultation with scholars, medical staff around the UK, we the management of Central Mosque Blackpool, keeping the safety of our congregation in front, have had to make a hard decision. Keeping the teachings of our Prophet (S.A.W) in mind, we have decided that the mosque premises will now remain closed to the public until further notice. This is an unprecedented situation that many if not all of us will never have faced in our lifetimes. Undoubtedly, this is a very emotional time for the executive committee and for the whole community. The closing of mosque doors is not something many of us would have envisaged. Based on this decision, we are requesting the following points to be kept in mind.
1. Every effort should still be undertaken to perform salah in congregation. The closing of the doors of a mosque does not absolve us of this responsibility. Under the circumstances, even if two people perform salah with one acting as an Imam and the other as a follower, Insha Allah the reward of congregational prayer will be met. In such a situation, performance of salah with one’s spouse will also constitute as congregational prayer. Wherever possible, in small numbers salah should be performed. If one is not able to perform salah in congregation, then one should still perform individually.
2. Salatul Jumuah, where possible should still be performed in small congregations. Some scholars of the opinion that the condition for the validity of Jumuah is that there should be a minimum of three followers behind the imam. If this is not possible, then one should perform Salatul Dhur as they would normally do on any other day.
3. We should understand and realise, that this is a huge test from almighty Allah. It should not be taken lightly. We are going through testing times, each individual of the community should be engaging in salah, prayer, other forms of remembrance and begging forgiveness from Allah for our shortcomings.
4. Every care should be undertaken to ensure the safety of our families and vulnerable individuals within our community. Whichever precautionary methods have been advised, should be adhered too including the duas that have been narrated from the Prophet (S.A.W.) for such times. Having said this, it is also vital that one’s attention and faith is not drawn away from the fact that everything good or bad that happens, happens only with the will of Allah. It is not necessary that a person taking every precaution will be guaranteed safety and wellbeing. On the other hand, it is also more than possible, that a person taking no precautionary method will not feel any form of illness or symptoms. This is all in the hands of almighty Allah. This is a time to revise and reform our faith in Allah.
5. Finally, I pray that Allah makes this difficult decision the correct one and that he forgives any mistake from the executive committee of Central Mosque Blackpool. I humbly request each person within the community to forgive any shortcomings on our part.