Following the recent decision by the English government to go into another national lockdown — we all feared the worst in terms of its impact on our day-to-day lives. A key respite during these troubling times was the decision to allow places of worship to remain open, however this was unfortunately only for private worship which is somewhat problematic in particular for the Muslim faith as the Masjid is actually established for congregational prayer. Having said that, in reality it is not congregational prayers as would be understood from a Christian understanding but very much akin to synchronised private worship.
Therefore the Muslim community felt the need to express their views to the Right Honourable Prime Minister so that he would be aware of their sentiments with regards to the impact of this latest national lockdown. As a result Wifaqul Ulamā and the Lancashire Council of Mosques initiated this this letter which was supported by over 35 national organisations representing more than 500 mosques, equating to approximately a million believers.
This letter was initially intended to be presented directly to the Prime Minister however due to COVID-19 restrictions it was handed to Chris Philp MP for Croydon who had hand delivered the letter to the office of the PM this evening.
وَمَنْ يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ
“WHOEVER PUTS HIS TRUST IN ALLAH; HE WILL BE ENOUGH FOR HIM.” (65:3)
We have done our utmost to directly address the Prime Minister to keep our Masajid open for Salah with jama’at. All we can do is our very best with what we can control.
We leave our affair to Allah جل جلاله for He is the best of planners.
The following is the letter and list of the organisations that signed the letter at the time of publication
The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
10 Downing Street
02 November 2020
Dear Prime Minister,
We the undersigned representatives of mosques and faith organisations from across England are deeply concerned as you are about the present spike in infections.
We support and appreciate the efforts of the Government and the NHS in this regard.
We would like to express our deep concern in regards to the impact the proposed lockdown restrictions will have on communities across our country.
Since March, places of worship across the country have played and continue to play a pivotal role in supporting communities of all faiths and none. As we came out of lockdown, places of worship — including mosques — have implemented a rigorous system of social distancing and other precautionary measures to ensure the wellbeing of all worshippers and minimise potential risks.
We believe that the continued running of places of worship with all the necessary precautions is vital for the wellbeing of all communities. It is therefore our request that places of worship are allowed to continue operating congregational worship subject to the social distancing and other necessary safeguards, which are already in place.
Please kindly note that via congregational prayers key government messages were being cascaded, community tensions were being diffused and community cohesion was being maintained.
Stopping congregational prayers will impact adversely to community relations, when trying to cascade key messages.
Furthermore, rigorous track and trace system are being operated at places of worship besides the other key Covid regulations being adhered to.
We sincerely hope you can review this because places of worship and synchronised worship are essential for the mental wellbeing for many individuals in our communities. We are confident that like schools, the risks can be managed therein.
It is our sincere hope and prayer that God Almighty removes this pandemic from us and the government is successful in controlling the pandemic infection rate too, so that we are able to return to normality.