In a welcome development, senior Deobandi scholars and Muftis gathered last night to discuss the coronavirus and the issue of the continuity of congregations in masajid. Many Deobandi masajid had remained open with significant safeguards and protocols in place, while most others from Deobandi and other groups had chosen to suspend congregations to stop the spread of the virus before Friday’s jumua prayer.

The matter had become a point of significant debate among Muslim scholars and community members alike. The community was torn between the imperative of saving lives and the central role played by masajid in Muslim spiritual life. With the government not clearly requiring places of worship to close, many felt that a more proportionate position might be possible that balanced both the safety of the community and the function of the masajid.

It is expected that this declaration will result in the suspension of congregations in a significant number of the masajid that have remained open if not all of them.

No doubt this will save many lives and shows that the Muslim community is taking responsibility to make all the sacrifices necessary to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.


Text of the declaration from the summit:

These scholars came to an agreement as follows:

On 26th Rajab 1441 AH (21st March 2020), a summit was held at Jamiatul Ilm Wal Huda (Blackburn). It was attended by a large number of respected scholars and esteemed jurists from across the UK as well as specialist doctors and scientists. The summit explored Coronavirus and its implications.

After carefully considering the nature of this contagious and rapidly spreading virus and its impact on lives, together with the societal, religious and political implications, scholars agreed the following:

  1. Muslims should turn to Allah Almighty, repent and seek forgiveness, give charity and supplicate. Tahajjud Salah is encouraged, and Islamic practices should be implemented within the home environment.
  2. In accordance with the Government and Public Health England guidelines, all Muslims and Citizens of the UK should adopt social distancing. Other precautionary measures, such as implementing hygiene and reducing travel, should also be taken.
  3. A full Masjid closure should be avoided, unless the Government advises to do so.
  4. As the deadly virus has spread quickly and is easily passing from person to person, there is an urgent need to take further measures to stem the spread. Therefore, it would be justified to perform Salah in one’s own home. However, a limited group (four or five) of appropriately selected individuals should continue to undertake five times Adhan and Salah at the Masjid.
  5. Those performing Salah at home should set aside specific times for Salah and be punctual. It is sufficient to perform Zuhr Salah in lieu of Jumu’ah Salah.
  6. In the interest of maintaining unity in the community and the gravity of the subject matter, everyone should respect each other’s opinions in this regard and should not belittle the opinions of others.
  7. Those with elderly parents or vulnerable members of the family should consider it an honour to take care of them.
  8. If anyone receives messages regarding this disease, they should refrain from forwarding on without investigating their accuracy. Furthermore, one should abstain from making jokes about the virus or any illness.
  9. Imams should continue with their advices and lectures via the Masjid transmission system and other broadcasting mediums. They should communicate the sensitivity of the current situation as well as encourage complete reliance upon Allah Almighty.

The aforementioned measures are being taken with great sadness and concern. They are interim measures, which the respected scholars will continuously review.

May Allah Almighty protect us and the entire Ummah from all types of calamities. Ameen.

Signatories

Mufti Umar Faruq, Darululoom London Mawlana Saeed, Darululoom Bradford Mufti Sulaiman Lasania, Islamic Dawah Academy Leicester
Mufti Shabbir Ahmad, Darululoom Blackburn Mawlana Fadhl Haq, Jamiah al-Kauthar, Lancaster Mufti Muhammad Saleh, Masjid Nurul Islam, Blackburn
Mufti Ikramul Haq, Darululoom Blackburn Mufti Saiful Islam, Jamiah Khatamun Nabiyyeen, Bradford Mufti Zubair Butt, Darul Ifta Bradford
Mufti Yusuf Sacha, Darul Ifta Batley Mawlana Margoob Ahmad Lajpuri, Masjid Bilal Dewsbury Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam, Darul Ifta Jamiah Masjid Leicester
Mufti Muhammad Tahir Wadi, Darululoom Bury Mawlana Abdurraheem Limbada, Raheemi Academy Bolton Mufti Siraj Ahmad, Darululoom Blackburn
Mufti Abdussamad, Darululoom Blackburn Doctor Mufti Abdurrahman Mangera, Darul Ifta London Mufti Muhammad Ali Falahi, Darululoom Blackburn
Mufti Zakariyah Akoodi, Madinah Masjid Batley Mawlana Yusuf Shabbir, Islamic Portal Blackburn Mawlana Rafiq Sufi, Muslim Youth Centre
Mufti Ibrahim Raja, Daululoom Bury Mufti Hanif Yusuf, Darululoom Blackburn Mufti Siraj Saleh, Masjid Quba Bradford
Mufti Ismaeel Bhayat, Islamic Dawah Academy Mawlana Yunus Dudhwala, Head of chaplaincy Mufti Zubair Patel, London

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