This is a public service message by the Worthing
Islamic Society in regards to the Coronavirus.
As of 11/03/20, the World Health Organization has declared the outbreak of Coronovirus (Covid-19) a pandemic. Against this backdrop, there are 456 confirmed cases and 6 deaths in the UK at the time of writing (12/03/20). The Government and Chief Medical Officer have also stated that the peak of the virus is yet to come. The virus is more deadly for the elderly and those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, immune suppression, and chronic lung disease.
Given the above and based on the guidance we have received from National Muslim organisations and Health officials , we offer the following advice:
1) Do not attend any Mosque activity if you experience ( no matter how mild) any symptoms of the Virus. These include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In this instance, you are excused from the congregational prayers (including Jumua)
2) It is religiously obligatory (wajib) for you to keep away and self-isolate if you have been diagnosed with Coronavirus in order to prevent the virus from spreading. Preventing harm, especially to others, takes precedence over attaining benefit
3) If you experience symptoms, keep a 2-metre distance from others and self isolate.
4) Please try to make wudhu at home. If wudhu has to be done in the mosque, please ensure you bin paper towels after use.
5) Please use hand sanitiser stations which are installed in the Masjid. There is a near consensus amongst scholars that these are permissible to use due to the alcohol ingredient in it being ethanol. If however you are still concerned that the alcohol in these santisiers is considered religiously impure, (najis) simply wash with water after use. This will suffice to remove the najasah.
6) Try to avoid physical contact, maintain general good hygiene and take care of your health more generally, as it is an amanah (sacred trust) from Allah
7) The elderly and the chronically ill should take extra precautions because they are at greater risk of death from Coronavirus. We strongly and politely encourage these groups to pray at home.
8) If there is a need to cough or sneeze, please use a tissue and bin it as soon as possible.
9) You should wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds when returning home
Alongside this, we offer the following general advice to the community :
a. Whilst taking reasonable precautions to protect ourselves, do not become fearful: everything happens by the Decree of Allah
b. Avoid forwarding unconfirmed news reports on social media or elsewhere, for the Prophet (s) said, ‘sufficient for a person to be considered a liar is that they spread news without confirming it’. (Muslim)
c. Remember the fragility of human life, and our ultimate return to our Lord. Turn to Allah in hope, longing, patience and prayer.
Allahumma inni A’udhu Bika Minal Barasi, Wal Jununi wal Juthami, Wa Min Si’il Asqami (Abu Dawud)
Also, we must be prepared to support those who are vulnerable and those who are isolating themselves out of precaution.
May Allah guide us to do what is best and protect all people.
Currently, there are no plans to halt congregational prayers or close the Madrasah. However, we are carefully monitoring expert advice and are prepared for any eventuality.
Please forward this message to all your Muslim contacts who are residents in Worthing and surrounding areas.
Imam Idris Nawab
(On behalf of Worthing Masjid)