Worried about the rise of coronavirus cases, many mosques across the world have closed doors and suspended gatherings.
After the mosque closures, many Muslims mull options tried to keep connected to the community and spiritual sermons.
A mosque in Blackburn is one of the mosques that have gone digital to help residents cope with the crisis and stay connected to the community.
The volunteer committee at Masjid Norul Islam, on Audley Range, is using WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Facebook and other online tools to get their message across to local communities.
“We started it off a few weeks ago when things came into perspective and we realized it was going to become serious,” volunteer committee member Yusaf Patel, who runs local web design company YP solutions, told Lancashire Telegraph.
“As a committee as a whole, we decided we’d set up a scheme to help the community so from there we created a WhatsApp group and people then forwarded it onto other groups and before you know it we had 250 members.”
In addition to connecting the community, the new digital service was designed to coordinate relief measures across the Audley Range and Queens Park areas where the committee aims to provide support to any residents who are in need.
“We thought to ourselves, how are we going to get the word out? So we used a Google Hangouts to organize ourselves and we’ve now got 12 in the team talking to each other and making sure everything gets done,” Patel said.
Volunteers also help deliver food and medical supplies along with advice and companionship.
“You’ll see people who are struggling to get medical advice because English isn’t their first language so we’ll be there to help them out,” Patel said.
He added: “When we’re experiencing a few more weeks of lockdown people, especially elderly people, will struggle with loneliness, anxiety, and depression so we’ve got people on hand who can help with that.”
Over 950,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have spanned the globe. The pandemic has also killed more than 48 thousand.
Over the past weeks, elderly people have been struggling with anxiety and isolation due to the coronavirus.
In Blackburn, the Masjide Noorul Islam has already recruited 250 people to help the elderly and vulnerable in isolation.
In South Yorkshire, a Muslim volunteer is leading an interfaith campaign to help people in Sheffield and Rotherham.
Preston mosques have donated items to help NHS critical care staff through tough times.