STATEMENT ON AVOIDANCE OF PUBLIC FRIDAY CONGREGATIONS IN PRIVATE RESIDENCES
For Immediate Release
Fri March 20th, 2020 / Rajab 25, 1441 AH
Bismillah hirRahman nirRaheem
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Abundant Peace, Blessings and Salutations upon the Prophet Muhammad (S)
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,
May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be with you
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We recognize the importance of maintaining our practices of faith and seeking even greater guidance from Allah (SWT) during these unsettling times.
We understand that many of you will find it difficult to accept the suspension of Jumu’a and other congregational prayers in our mosques and Islamic centers. These are our hubs for faith, culture and education.
But we are in extraordinary times that require similar sacrifices.
The COVID-19 virus can be transmitted from those showing no symptoms at all to many others in little time. The notorious example of "Patient 31", a Korean person who spread the virus to almost 80% of the country by attending a church congregation, is a tragic example we must acknowledge. There are now other examples as well including from within our Muslim community, where a large gathering of the Tablighi Jamaat in Malaysia has led to a large outbreak across several countries in South East Asia.
There is no safe maximum number of individuals that should gather in any forum that is not absolutely necessary. It is only a matter of time before this is officially stated by public health officials and we need not wait for this to protect our community.
Accordingly, we unequivocally recommend the following:
1. We strongly recommend to avoid gatherings of all kinds, including ANY form of Jumu’a or other congregational gatherings of any number involving members of different households. This practice has the potential to spawn many new cases of COVID-19 and could prove catastrophic for our community if routinely practiced. Please limit any prayers to those residing within your OWN household without exception.
2. As Jumu’a prayer is suspended until further notice, everyone should pray Zuhr (4 rakaat) at home instead.
We pray for Allah (SWT) to grant us patience, mercy and strength to endure these difficult times.
Wassalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh
The Canadian Muslim COVID-19 Task Force