This page is being updated regularly. Last updated on 18th May 2020 at 8pm. To auto-receive updates, join this community via:
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1. Advice for Individuals – Including Eid
With lockdown restrictions varying between England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, specific guidance for each nation has been developed between the Muslim Council of Britain, and its affiliates the Muslim Council of Scotland, the Muslim Council of Wales and Belfast Islamic Centre with the variations in public health advice. For example, Muslims in England who are not self-isolating are also encouraged to go outdoors with other members of their households as per the updated lockdown restrictions in England, though Muslims in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are to remain indoors.
The current NHS advice is that as individuals we should stop non-essential contact (including shaking hands, hugging, kissing) and if we go outside, to keep more than 2 metres (3 steps) apart from others. This is part of the UK’s social distancing measures to help slow down the spread of COVID19 – click here for more information.
The best way to protect ourselves is to follow good hygiene practices, including:
- Wash hands frequently with soap/water or hand sanitiser gel
- Catch coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues
- Throw away used tissues (then wash hands)
- If you don’t have a tissue, use your sleeve
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
Click here for further guidance and useful graphics.
Much of this advice, and an emphasis on cleanliness and hygiene is in line with Islamic tradition. Abu Malik Al-Ash`ari (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Purity is half of iman (faith).“ [Muslim]
If you are in any doubt visit NHS111 Online or call 111. Do not attend your GP practice or pharmacy as this places others at risk. For NHS advice on what self-isolation means, click here.
2. Advice for parents
With children off school, parents need to interact constructively with their children during this challenging time. Check out these six one-page Healthy Parenting tips produced by the WHO for parents covering planning one-on-one time, staying positive, creating a daily routine, avoiding bad behaviour, managing stress, and talking about COVID-19.
Have fun engaging with these ideas, and let us know if you have any more by emailing [email protected]
For the latest guidance and updates on school reopening, visit the Department for Education website, and check online with your local council.
3. Advice for Mosques and Madrasas
18 May – The UK Government’s latest conditional recovery plan currently indicates partial re-opening could be from 4 July at the earliest, subject to adopting ‘Covid-19 Secure’ guidelines. Following consultation with over 300 Muslim institutions and scholars across the UK earlier this month, the MCB is issuing initial discussion guidelines with the aim of helping leaders of Mosques, Madrasas and community centres plan carefully for a safe and phased re-opening in-line with public health regulations.
Further support in collaboration with a range of partners is also planned to be made available in the coming weeks, including training webinars, legal advice, posters & notices, checklists, medical advice and fundraising advice. You can register your interest for support by clicking here.
I’d like to offer my Mosque as a temporary mortuary or field hospital. What can I do?
Several Mosques such as this one in Bolton are offering their spaces to local hospitals, as well as establishing temporary cold storage facilities such as in Birmingham, in co-operation with their Local Authorities and funeral service providers. For more information contact [email protected].
What else can my Mosque do?
Click here for the latest Toolkit for UK Muslim Communities (PDF) with advice on how to set-up online / digital alternatives, including live or recorded sermons, programmes and panel discussions.
A range of other organisations are also producing good guidance on this, including:
I’m worried about finances/not being able to fundraise – what can I do?
Click here to view the financial support section for information on Government support packages for business, charities and individuals.
The MCB has partnered with the online crowdfunding platform LaunchGood to launch a national #SupportOurMosques Campaign.
With reduced donations from worshippers physically attending the Mosque since the COVID-19 restrictions started, it’s now more important than ever that communities donate online to help their local Mosque cover their running costs at a minimum.
Find your local Mosque and give back today at www.supportourmosques.com
If your Mosque isn’t already listed, make sure you sign-up your mosque online too and start fundraising today
4. #RamadanAtHome 2020
In 2020, Ramadan will be from 23/24 April to 23/24 May 2020. This year, the Month of Ramadan will be a very different experience for Muslims all over the world due to the COVID-19 restrictions. The MCB has produced at #RamadanAtHome guide at:
The National Huffadh Association UK has also produced a guide to praying Taraweeh At Home including how to keep children engaged during lockdown, which can be viewed online here.
5. Coping with stress during the COVID-19 pandemic
Muslim mental health organisations in the UK have united to provide a range of services to tackle mental health problems arising from the coronavirus pandemic.
Each organisation specialises in a different aspect of mental health, and can be contacted as your needs require. More details can be found in the flyer here.
For faith-sensitive and confidential mental health advice, Muslim Youth Helpline offer online chat/email and phone support on 0808 808 2008 available for Muslims of all ages. Inspirited Minds also offer online support. A flyer on mental health support during COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.
The World Health Organisation has published guidelines (PDF) and also produced advice on individuals and communities coping with stress during the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes advice such as the following:
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle – diet, sleep, exercise etc.
- Don’t use smoking, alcohol or drugs to deal with emotions
- Get the facts from the authorities – do not base your actions on hearsay
- Limit worry by lessening time you/your family spend listening to media coverage
- Draw on skills you have used in the past to help you manage adversities
Further information on coping with mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak is published by the Mental Health Foundation here.
Beware Fake News! – It is important to verify any news you receive/come across before acting upon it or forwarding on.
“Fake news” that causes panic is also easily spread during a crisis like this. Educate yourself and your family/friends on avoiding fake news, including 1) Consider the Source, 2) Read Beyond, 3) Cross Check, 4) Don’t forward every message, 5) Check the date and 6) Don’t panic
6. Deaths/Funeral Rites related to COVID-19
Sadly the number of deaths in the community due to COVID-19 is increasingly rapidly. Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Illayhi Rajioon (To Allah we belong, and to Him we will return). Our thoughts and prayers must be with the deceased and their families, who due to restrictions on visiting, will be unable to be with their loved ones during their final hours (although please do check local restrictions).
Read dedicated FAQs on burial/funeral arrangements here. Due to potential differences in jurisprudence opinions, we strongly recommend consulting with your local Imam, scholar or funeral directors for specific advice
The National Burial Council updated guidance as of 16 March.
Visit this dedicated burial resources page for more information.
The charity Muslim Hands has also set-up a helpline for Muslim Burial issues (Call 0115 970 3332, Monday to Sunday, from 9AM to 4PM)
7. Get Involved! Local Volunteer Initiatives
Click here to see full list of Local Volunteer Support initiatives (regularly updated) or email [email protected] to add yours!
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): “Seek out the vulnerable among you. Verily, you are only given provision and support due to your support of the weak.” (Tirmidhi).
- During this COVID-19 crisis, the socially vulnerable may include those community members who are:
- Undertaking social isolation
- Elderly (especially if living alone)
- Feeling unwell/ill
- With disabilities
- Economically vulnerable e.g. loss of income source
- Single parents with children
- No access to a car for transport
- Many Muslim institutions, mosques and activists are turning their centers into hubs of volunteer response efforts, including:
- picking up shopping from supermarket
- picking up prescriptions from pharmacy
- delivering a cooked meal
- having a friendly conversation
- supporting a local foodbank
- …and more!
- Click here to see full list of Local Volunteer Support initiatives
- How can you get involved this?
- Volunteers – identify able-bodied volunteers who can support those who need support with daily activities e.g. buying food, deliveries. Set-up communication channels and arrange an initial meeting.
- Broadcast / Announcements – Tell people that help is available e.g.:
- Social Media/WhatsApp announcements
- Personal phone calls to community members
- Door knocking to neighbours
- #ViralKindness Postcard (see below Section 5c)
- Regular Check-In – Make a list of socially vulnerable individuals or families in your neighbourhood/community who are likely to need support.
- Task your volunteers with keeping in touch with them regularly.
- Use voice or video-messaging as well as text/graphic messages to have a stronger and more human connection and maintain morale.
- The NHS is recruiting volunteers to support key health care service workers.
- Get involved by registering online at: www.goodsamapp.org/NHS
When getting involved, make sure you follow official “How to Help Safely” advice.
Click here to see full list of Local Volunteer Support initiatives compiled by MCB & MCF.
8. Financial Support during COVID-19 pandemic
The suspension of congregational activities and closure of non-essential shops in line with public health advice, means the loss of a major source of funding for Mosques and Muslim institutions, especially donations and Jumuah collections, while basic building / organisational maintenance expenses continue, as well as Muslim-owned businesses or sole traders.
In late March, a Government Job Retention Scheme for employers, and Self-Employed Support Scheme for self-employed, was announced, with further details to be provided soon, as well as other financial support schemes and payments deferral mechanisms. In addition, VAT for all businesses will be deferred until the end of June 2020 and the next tax self-assessments will be deferred until January 2021. See a summary of schemes available here.
Visit the Dedicated Government Business Support website here.
The KSIMC of London have produced a useful guide of financial support packages.
Government Hotline Phone Numbers:
- Business support & ventilators: 0300 456 3565
- HMRC: 0800 015 9559
- Universal Credit: 0800 328 5644
- School Closures: 0800 046 8687
- NHS: Only call 111 if you cannot get help online at 111.nhs.uk
Hardship Grants are also available via the Hardship Relief Fund and Housing Fund run by the National Zakat Foundation.
More information and to apply visit: https://www.nzf.org.uk/blog/zakat-and-coronavirus/
Other sources of emergency grant funding:
- Grants Online UK have documented a series of funds, visit https://www.grantsonline.org.uk/region-news/uk/ for an updated list of available grants and application details
- All Ways Network has also collated a list of funding pots, visit www.allwaysnetwork.org.uk/funding-pots for expert guidance on bid writing and more
9. Advice for Umrah and Hajj Travellers
The current COVID-19 crisis means that there is uncertainty in many industries, the Hajj and Umrah industry is no different.
Travel agents may not yet be in the possession of all the answers regarding Hajj and Umrah, which makes it even more important to ensure you are protected. We want to ensure pilgrimages are safe and that pilgrims don’t lose money.
Hajj & Umrah in 2020
For a General Guidance leaflet on Hajj & Umrah 2020, please click here.
Umrah – On 27th February the Ministry of Hajj & Umrah announced the temporary suspension of Umrah until further notice due to fears over the Coronavirus (COVID19) spreading. There is no specific date set by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to resume Umrah until now, this includes during the month of Ramadan. As such you should contact your travel agent to discuss options. If they are unable to fulfil the trip, then under the Package Travel Regulations you are entitled to a full refund. The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has processed refunds for all fees for Muslims issued with Umrah visas but could not travel due to the temporary suspension of Umrah.
- NHS general COVID-19 advice
- NHS self-isolation advice
- UK Government COVID-19 Recovery Plan (11 May)
- Official public health advice
- Muslim communities specialist advice:
- British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) latest guidance
- Mental Health – Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH) Practical Guide
- Muslim Charities – Practical Guide (MCF)
- British Board of Scholars and Imams (BBSI) latest advice
- Muslims Lawyers Pro Bono Group
- National (Muslim) Burial Council latest advice
- Council of British Hajjis UK latest advice to Hajj and Umrah Pilgrims
- Other useful advice
This page provides COVID-19 guidance for Muslim institutions in the UK on keeping our communities safe, coping with mental health/stress, death & funeral rites and Hajj/Umrah pilgrims. This page is updated regularly.
To auto-receive updates, join this community WhatsApp broadcast group: http://bit.ly/covidwhatsapp4
If you would like to volunteer to support Muslim National Community Response Group efforts in tackling COVID-19, please click here to express interest.
To support MCB in bringing unity to the Muslim communities’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, click here to donate and support the MCB.
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