Press Release: Ramadan 2020 – GLMCC Coronavirus Public Health GuidelinesAssima Alam
21st April 2020
Ramadan 2020: GLMCC Coronavirus Public Health Guidelines
Alhamdulillah, the benefits of social distancing over the past few weeks are starting to bear fruit. Social distancing usually takes several weeks to take effect and alhamdulillah, we are now seeing the early signs of a plateau in the number of infected and deceased. However, as a community, we need to be conscious that we do not harm this progress by becoming complacent with the rules.
Ramadan is a month of blessings and increased worship for Muslims. We have a special attachment to the numerous community activities that place over this period, from communal iftars, congregational taraweeh (night prayers) and the outdoor Eid celebrations at the end of Ramadan. With the current situation, these practices won’t be possible this year.
Alhamdulillah as a community we have done exceptionally well to rapidly close our Masajid (mosques), to stay at home, to initiate projects to support the NHS, to help the vulnerable and to take care of our elderly. The Muslim community has stepped up and is truly demonstrating the essence of faith put into practice.
In light of the current circumstances, it seems unlikely that we will be out of this lockdown by June, as advised by medical professionals. With the imminent onset of Ramadan, GLMCC has been working with other Masajid and the Public Health Authorities to agree some critical messages for the holy month.
Our main message remains unchanged:
Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.
This has a few implications for us in Ramadan:
Some may believe that they can pray taraweeh together in smaller groups. Unfortunately, small gatherings still pose a risk of spreading the virus house to house. The advice to everyone is to pray taraweeh at home with other household members. General Government guidance is that no one should even congregate in groups as small as two people from outside of the household.
- Iftar gatherings.
Attending iftars at each other’s houses presents the same risk. We all enjoy the social interaction during Ramadan but this will have the same impact of spreading the virus between houses. Why not donate the money that you would usually spend on an iftar to the local food bank or those in need? See places to donate at www.greenlanemasjid.org/donate.
- Eid Al Fitr
Alhamdulillah, we have become accustomed to our large outdoor Eid gatherings. With tens of thousands coming together, there would be a serious risk of the virus spreading at such events. At GLMCC, we have already cancelled the Annual ‘Eid in the Park’ celebration. It would also be careless to gather in small groups outdoors on Eid. The current advice is again, for everyone to pray at home.
Closer to the time, we will put out more guidance about Eid.
Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.
If we fail to adhere to the social distancing rules, in just a short space of time, we could undo all of the progress made in tackling the virus and face a new spike in the number of infected and deceased. We have a duty to protect ourselves, our families and others.
“…If anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind…” Surah Al-Maidah, ayah 32
Our dedicated frontline workers, key workers, and particularly the NHS are doing an amazing job at containing and managing the pandemic. Many of them are laying down their lives in the struggle. We need to support their work and protect everyone.
Some far-right groups have already been trying to use the Coronavirus crisis to cause division within our communities. There have already been false reports circulating about mosques remaining open during the lockdown. Ramadan will be another occasion for them to try and demonise Muslims. Let’s not give them the opportunity.
We pray that Allah (swt) allows us to truly benefit from the month of Ramadan. May He ease everyone’s difficulty and forgive our deceased.
Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives insha’Allah.
A Joint Statement by our Imams
Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre is a leading UK mosque situated in the heart of Birmingham serving the community since 1979. Operating from its award-winning grade II listed Victorian building, GLMCC fulfils its mission of inspiring, educating and serving through its educational college, outreach work, welfare services, international humanitarian wing, as well as its fully functional mosque which is attended by thousands every week.
For more information about or work and services visit: www.greenlanemasjid.org
DETAILED BACKGROUND TO GLMCC
Green Lane Masjid & Community Centre (GLMCC) is a leading UK mosque based in the heart of Birmingham. Having acquired the premises in 1979, the trustees and committee members have been evolving the mosque and it’s building over the decades to create a mosque that acts as a hub for the local community, consisting of prayer halls for men and women, a community hall, evening school for children, educational institute, library and some accommodation. It also provides a funeral service to the local Muslim community.
GLMCC occupies a prominent corner position on Green Lane in Small Heath. The building was originally constructed as a public library and baths, designed by local architects Martin & Chamberlain and built in the redbrick and terracotta Gothic-Jacobean style between 1893 and 1902. It is a Grade II listed building.
Recognised internationally, GLMCC has circa 750,000 followers on Facebook. It is also the 2019 British Muslim Awards winner for Mosque of the Year as well as the Beacon Award winner for ‘Best Run Mosque 2019’.
A brief summary of some of the main activities and services operated from the centre:
- Hundreds of people attending the five daily prayers from the mosque
- Thousands attending Friday congregational sermon and prayer
- Thousands attending congregational prayers, every night of Ramadan
- Over 250 people fed each day over Ramadan
- An imam Q&A run four times a week
- Adults education holding over 50 classes per week
- A weekly children’s evening school run 4 days a week with over 400 children registered
- A monthly kids Budding Believers club, a weekend school with over 100 children
- A kids summer school, attended by over 200 children
- Annual conferences with renowned International speakers, attended by thousands
- Weekly Islamic talks attended by hundreds and streamed online to thousands
- Weekend courses attended by hundreds
- Regular school visits to the mosque
- Annual community days and exhibitions
- Interfaith work
- An Annual ‘Winter Freeze’ project, housing tens of homeless for many months over the cold season
- Counselling services run by qualified counsellors, including a GP
- A funeral service managing over 40 funerals and burials a year
- A Foodbank that has supported over 3,000 families over the years
- A charitable hardship fund (zakat/charity) service that distributes circa £60k to UK people and families in need
- Ladies coffee mornings held every Thursday, attended by around 60 women each week, providing a much needed social activity for many women, particularly those on their own or single mothers.
- A monthly elderly social and lunch
- A weekly food/soup kitchen, funded by Greggs
- A community Street watch initiative with the WMP
- A free weekly legal surgery in partnership with Aman solicitors
- A free immigration advice surgery run with the Home Office
- A cancer support group in partnership with Macmillans
- An education advice support clinic for parents
- A job club
- GLMCC runs the bi-annual Celebrate Eid event in Small Heath, Birmingham. This is the largest outdoor Eid event in Europe with 60k to 80k people attending. Arranged twice a year, this is a fantastic and fun community event for all, with a fairground, food stalls and much more. The event is run in partnership and supported by many organisations, including Islamic Relief, the Birmingham Hippodrome, Unity FM and other mosques.
International Humanitarian Wing:
- Task Force Green Lane Masjid, is the GLMCC international humanitarian wing and has raised over £7m over the past 6 years for needy causes overseas, with over £2m raised in 2019.
- From supporting the recent humanitarian crisis in Yemen to providing homes and essential support to Syrian refugees and orphans fleeing conflict zones, the taskforce provides a lifeline of support to those in severe conditions.
- The team supports and has helped various NGO’s including Islamic Relief in establishing key projects around the world.
- We currently provide ongoing support for an orphanage built and established in Lebanon, where Syrian widows were paired with lost orphans to form families that were then housed in the orphanage. A purpose built building was constructed to provide apartments for them to live and the organisation covers the annual living costs for these newly formed families.
Annual Social Campaigns:
- The mosque runs several social campaigns, addressing different issue that are pertinent to the community. In 2019, an anti-knife crime campaign and environmental campaign were launched, receiving much recognition and traction with the community.
Other Major Activities:
- The GLM football club, in association with the FA, holds 3 sessions per week for adults and children
- Weekly Kick-boxing classes for kids and adults
- A weekly women’s basketball session
- Kids cricket coaching sessions run in association with the English Cricket Board
There are many more activities run by the organisation, making the centre an active hub for the community.
Some Background Articles relating to GLMCC: