As the Government today reiterated its advice for people to maintain social distancing, especially here in London, the decision yesterday to close our Mosque, in coordination with many others, appears to have been very timely. Naturally, all Muslims are deeply concerned; but our Imams have explained that those who usually pray in the Mosque should trust in receiving their full reward from Allah even when having to pray at home. And our community can take heart that the spirit of congregational prayer in the Mosque is being kept alive.

The Adhan (call to prayer) continues

We are fortunate that a few of our staff, including one of our Imams, live inside the Mosque complex. So we have committed to keeping the five daily prayers going in the East London Mosque. The Adhan is still being called, and broadcast live on our radio stream; but the part that says “Come to prayer” has been replaced with “Pray at your home”. Indeed, those who tuned in this morning for the Adhan for Fajr would have heard the Muadhdhin (Caller to Prayer) in tears as he reached this part of the Adhan.

The handful of staff in the Mosque complex are ensuring they hold a congregational prayer, also broadcast live, in the hope that we never have to miss one of the prayers in our Mosque. And we pray to Allah that it will not be too long before we can open the doors again.

Reaching out to our community

Our Imams will be trying give nasihah (advice) and Islamic talks to our community, through recordings or live broadcasts, even if they cannot leave their homes. We are putting systems in place to get this up and running as soon as possible, but our Head Imam, Shaykh Abdul Qayum, has made a brief video from his home today to explain more about the closure:

We will also try to keep Imams’ advice sessions going, though of course these will have to by phone rather than the usual face-to-face appointments in the Mosque. Should there be a lockdown, our onsite staff will endeavour to forward calls to our Imams, insha’Allah.

We’re concerned that some people in our local community will have needs that they can’t meet, so our staff and volunteers will be working with the wider community in Tower Hamlets to see how we can help. We’ll have more information soon, and we’re confident the Muslim community will try to support these efforts. In the meantime, please look out for your neighbours, especially the old and vulnerable; Prophet Muhammad ﷺ greatly stressed our obligations to help our neighbours.

May Allah help us all in this adversity, increase us in Birr (righteousness) and Taqwa (consciousness of God), and strengthen our faith through patience and prayer.

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