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November 19, 2020 | Rabi ul Akhar 4, 1442 AH

Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Abundant Peace, Blessings and Salutations Upon the Prophet Muhammad (S)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh.

We cannot afford to wait any longer to protect our elders and the most vulnerable in neighbourhoods where COVID-19 is spreading quickly. Many of our community members are essential workers who have kept our economy, spiritual life, and health systems sustainable until now, and are among those who have fallen ill. We must all do our part in helping reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Alhamdulillah, while our Masajid have implemented strong safety measures and have not been the source of known outbreaks, we know that people are acquiring infections through their daily interactions in the community, and gatherings are how this virus spreads. This is why public health leaders have strongly urged all houses of worship to suspend in-person services for the public and our Muslim healthcare workers on the frontlines have informed us of the dire situation in our hospitals.

In light of this and in accordance with our reopening framework, the Canadian Muslim COVID-19

Task Force strongly supports regional public health recommendations to offer all

religious services virtually, while continuing to maintain the rights of the masjid.

Recognizing that masajid will each assess their own risk for their own context, we must signal the seriousness of this second wave by committing to reduce in-person and non-essential services. Alhamdulillah during such uncertain times, fatwas have previously been issued that have given temporary allowances for our prayers and religious obligations to be modified or lifted for the duration of the pandemic.

Finally, we can overcome this second wave and help our masajid stay open longer and reopen sooner, if individually we all agree to:

1. Stop all social gatherings with anyone from outside our homes.

2. When going outside for essential activities, if we are around others, we must physically distance at least 2 metres, wear a mask properly at all times and wash our hands regularly.

3. Get tested if we might have, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. If we test positive, we must isolate at home, seek medical attention when needed, and inform our close contacts and the official Canadian COVID-19 phone app. There is no shame in telling others, and we may save someone else’s life by telling those around us to get tested in time.

4. Support our non-profit organizations including masajid, who have suffered financially while adhering to public health measures and protecting our community.

5. Advocate for the vulnerable members of our communities, including those who may be at higher risk with unstable employment or income, unpaid sick leave or cannot access the health services they need.

Al-Nu’man ibn Bashir reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

May Allah protect us, grant us patience and keep us all healthy. Ameen.

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