Press Release: Ramadan 2021: GLMCC Coronavirus GuidelinesAssima Alam
Alhamdulillah, the benefits of lockdown and social distancing are bearing fruit as we slowly move out of lockdown. We are now seeing infections and death rates back at the level they were six months ago. 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 take place over this period, from communal iftars (breaking of the fast), congregational taraweeh (night prayers) and the outdoor Eid celebrations at the end of Ramadan. With the current situation, none of these practices will be the same this year.
Alhamdulillah as a community we have done exceptionally well to open our Masajid (mosques) safely, to stay at home, to initiate projects to support the community and NHS, to help the vulnerable and to take care of our elderly. Vaccination centres are now opening up in Masajid, with everyone’s combined efforts we can now see a way out of this pandemic inshaAllah.The Muslim community has stepped up and is truly demonstrating faith in practice.
In light of the current circumstances, with the approach of Ramadan, GLMCC has been working with other Masajid and the Public Health Authorities to agree some critical messages for the holy month.
The main government message remains unchanged: Hands. Face. Space.
This has a few implications for us in Ramadan:
- Taraweeh/Qiyam (night prayers):
We will be open for taraweeh and want to accommodate as many people as possible. However, we know that we cannot host the thousands that we are accustomed to in pre-covid years due to social distancing rules. We have therefore increased to 2 congregations to be held each night inshaAllah.
The advice to everyone is to pray taraweeh locally and stick to one masjid so that you do not spread the virus to other Muslim prayer attendees. We will be joined by the elderly and vulnerable this year and have an ongoing duty to protect everyone.
- Iftar (breaking of the fast) and suhoor gatherings (pre-dawn meal):
We typically feed over 250 people a day for iftar (breaking of the fast) during past Ramadans. Likewise, we feed hundreds for suhoor in the last ten nights. Unfortunately, this will not be possible this year and poses too many hygiene risks.
Attending iftars (breaking of the fast) at each other’s houses is also not allowed during this period of lockdown. Although we all enjoy the social interaction during Ramadan, this would help to spread the virus between houses.
Why not donate the money that you would usually spend on an iftar meal to the local foodbank or those in need? See places to donate at www.greenlanemasjid.org/donate.
- Itikaf (spiritual retreat)
Again, in light of the current lockdown guidance, this will not be possible this year.
- Eid Al Fitr
We all look forward to our large outdoor Eid gatherings with tens of thousands attending our Annual Eid in the Park events. In line with the lockdown rules, we will not be running the Annual ‘Eid in the Park’ celebration for Eid Al Fitr this year. However, if we remain on the current governments trajectory of coming out of lockdown, we intend to hold 6 jamats in the masjid as we did last year.
Closer to the time, we will put out more guidance about Eid Al Fitr.
Hands. Face. Space.
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 have laid down their lives in the struggle. We need to support their work and protect everyone.
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.
Hands. Face. Space.
A Joint Statement by GLMCC Resident 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 fulfills its mission of inspiring, educating and serving through its educational college, outreach work, welfare services, youth work, international humanitarian wing, as well as its fully functional mosque which is attended by thousands every week.
Recognised internationally, GLMCC is a multi-award-winning mosque, having won the 2019 British Muslim Award for Mosque of the Year and the Beacon Awards for ‘Best Run Mosque 2019 and ‘Best Covid Response 2020’.
For more information about or work and services visit: www.greenlanemasjid.org
Or access our annual report at: 2019 Annual Report