Mosques Go Virtual During COVID-19 Lockdown

As a result of a steady increase of confirmed COVID-19 classes, mosques and Islamic centers across the world have closed in recent weeks.

Muslims all over the United States have been affected by this, especially with the result of halting congregational prayers and communal activities.

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However, locked Masjid doors and virtual Friday sermons are becoming the new norm for the international Muslim community with several mosques now going online to provide services.

Muslims are turning to online platforms and resources to build a sense of community during this time.

Local Imams, scholars, and organization leaders are hosting webinars, conference calls, and video chats to continue a culture of connection amongst fellow worshippers. 

“Our community is already planning a virtual Ramadan at Roswell Community Masjid. Our plan is to continue our online programming, offer weekend nightly halaqas using our digital platform, and encourage virtual iftars with friends,” Imam Arshad Anwar from Roswell Community Masjid told AboutIslam.net.

Imam Hamzah Abdul Malik. Photo credit: C-Span
Imam Hamzah Abdul Malik. Photo credit: C-Span

Distancing or Closeness

Though keeping social distancing, the lockdown period could bring the community closer, sharing thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

“In this time of “social distancing”, even though we are physically farther, we plan to be spiritually closer,” Imam Hamza Abdul Malik from Midtown Mosque shared with AboutIslam.net. 

“Our community will plant more gardens, feed more people from our pantry, and work even harder to connect to each other through conference classes and virtual study groups.”

Imam Abdullah  Yousri in the prayer area of the Ummah Masjid and Community Centre  Monday morning, March 30, 2020. Eric Wynne
Imam Abdullah Yousri in the prayer area of the Ummah Masjid and Community Centre Monday morning, March 30, 2020. Eric Wynne

Other Areas

Another mosque in Canada turned to online services to support its congregation during the lockdown.

In the Nova Scotia, Canada, imam Ibrahim Alshanti of the Al-Barakah Masjid in Halifax turned on his computer from the confines of his living room to teach a few online classes through Zoom each week.

“It’s weird, but we believe that in every difficulty, there is a blessing,” said Alshanti, The Chronicle Herald.

Imam Abdallah Yousri of the Ummah Masjid and Community Centre in Halifax has similarly been hosting daily virtual sessions from his bedroom to offer “online spiritual support for the community and share important reflections with them” through Zoom and Facebook.

Yousri said the Muslim community has been supportive of the mosques’ decision to continue to host prayers and Quran lessons virtually.

“It is a very challenging time for us, especially with the kids, and the community at this time needs the support,” he said.

Other imams in the US have also gone online to provide their followers with religious reflections including imam Omar Suleiman and Sheikh Yasir Qadhi.

https://www.facebook.com/imamomarsuleiman/videos/935243620224936/

The COVID-19 pandemic has infected 788,065 and killed other 37,877, according to the latest estimates by WorldOMeter.

About Sabria Mills
Sabria Mills is the Co-founder and Executive Director of MACE - Muslims Advocates of Children with Exceptionalities. She is an Educational Leader and Social Advocate, who partners with educators, community leaders, and activists to advocate for inclusive spaces for people of all abilities. After spending nearly a decade working in education and addressing the needs of non-profit organizations, Sabria knows what truly drives social reform, equality, and education—and it’s not mastering the social advocacy flavor of the week. It’s how well you connect with the heart-beating people you’re trying to help and communicate your understanding back to them.