With the World Health Organization (WHO), on March 11, 2020, declaring the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic, several Islamic organizations have taken new measures to curb the deadly virus .
The Canadian Council of Imams has issued a new statement recommending that mosques suspend the congregational Friday prayer services immediately in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The recommendations were suggested to “avoid large gatherings that usually take place in the main mosques for Friday prayer.”
The council also instructed those who feel unwell to avoid attending the congregational prayer.
“For individuals infected with any respiratory diseases, it is not permissible (haram) to attend Jumuah prayers,” the statement read.
Muslims in Michigan have been also informed that congregational prayers would be suspended for two weeks.
“The Imams Council of Michigan, after consulting with doctors and medical experts, and in compliance with the recommendation of the Governor, decided to cancel the Jummah congregations for the next two weeks (3/13/20 and 3/20/20),” a post on Facebook was shared by a Michigan Muslim.
The statement also listed a number of principles for Muslims to consider.
“The Prophet (SAWS) said: “There is no harming nor reciprocating harm.” It is impermissible for anyone experiencing symptoms of the COVID-19 virus to attend the mosque or public spaces.”
“In order to emulate the prophetic care and to protect our families from the corona-virus, we request for our respective communities to comply with the Imam’s Council’s decision.”
The Islamic Center of Irvine also issued a statement on coronavirus based on the Shura Council Actionable Advisory.
“The Islamic Shura Council of Southern California STRONGLY urges the Muslim Community not to offer congregational Friday prayers (Salatul Jumuah) this week in order to minimize the risk of COVID-19,” the center wrote in a statement.
“In conjunction with scholarly consultation with the Board of Imams and medical discussions on this topic with a physician task force, all congregants are advised to pray the noon prayer at home or work.”
“All Islamic centers and organizations should act in accordance with updated directions and recommendations of their municipal health authorities, such as the Orange County Public Health Care Agency, LA County Dept. of Public Health, the San Bernardino County of Public Health, Riverside Department of Public Health, and Public Health Services – County of San Diego.”
In Dallas, Imam Omar Suleiman tweeted that the Friday prayer at Valley Ranch Islamic Center had been canceled.
“Jumah at @ValleyRanchIC is canceled tomorrow in compliance with the announcement from Dallas County rule prohibiting gatherings of over 500. May Allah accept the sincere intentions of all who hoped to come, and gather us together again as soon as possible,” he tweeted.
People worldwide have been worried and extremely concerned since the outbreak of COVID-19.
The number of people infected with the coronavirus is more than 125,000 globally, and it has killed more than 4600 people, according to WHO‘s tally.