15 May 2024

The East London Mosque today hosted a community conference titled ‘Dying Matters’, in partnership with Barts Health NHS Trust and East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT). The event, chaired by ELM Head Imam, Shaykh Abdul Qayum, and advance care planning nurse, Sabeen Jabbar, brought together healthcare professionals and religious leaders to address critical issues surrounding end-of-life care and support for the Muslim community.

Emphasising the significance of the event, Junaid Ahmed, CEO of the East London Mosque, said: “It’s an important conference that’s required for our community. From a faith perspective, there is a lot of teaching and guidance we need to be aware of, and this conference offers spiritual guidance and preparation for death. This conference will provide support both from a health and religious perspective.” He also acknowledged the huge challenges faced by the community in this regard.

The conference featured a diverse panel of experts. Dr Georgie Osborne discussed the role of medical staff at the end of life, while Emma Robinson addressed the role of the community team. Thamena Ali explained the services and support available at hospices, and Eyarun Choudhury provided information about compassionate neighbours and bereavement services.

Shaykh Abdul Qayum delivered a poignant speech on the Islamic perspective of death and dying. He emphasised the spiritual and health provisions necessary for those approaching end of life. The Imam stressed the significance of seeking forgiveness and making amends with loved ones before departing this world and entering the Hereafter. In his thoughtful address, Shaykh Abdul Qayum offered valuable guidance on preparing for death and urged the Muslim community to be ready to meet their Creator.

The conference also highlighted gaps in care provisions within the community that required specialised attention, followed by a discussion on the importance of advance care planning. The event concluded with a question and answer session, allowing attendees to engage with the panel and seek further guidance.

The East London Mosque and its partners remain committed to providing the necessary support and resources to the Muslim community during challenging times, particularly when it comes to matters of death and dying.