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1. Advice for Re-Opening Mosques and Madrasas
The UK Government has published an updated official guidelines for places of worship in England from 4th July. Click here to read. A summary of relevant new points for mosques has been produced by MCB here. Latest MCB statement here.
MCB issued a 9-steps guidance pack for the safe and phased reopening of mosques for congregational worship, in line with public health regulations.
Download additional PDF resources and posters from the guide, including:
- Template High Level Risk Assessment (Editable Word Version)
- Example Communication Plan (PDF)
- List of Key Decisions for Re-opening Mosques (PDF)
- 5-steps for screening at mosque entrance (PDF)
- Poster: Should I pray in the mosque? (PDF)
- Poster: What to do if an attendees develops COVID-19 symptoms (PDF)
- Plan the prayer space ensuring correct 2m gaps (PDF)
- Printable Signage (PDF)
- Mosque Re-opening Checklist (WORD)
- Got an idea for a resource? Email us on [email protected]!
With thanks to the Muslim Council of Wales, Muslim Council of Scotland and British Islamic Medical Association for supporting with collating this guide.
1m vs 2m
On 23 June, the UK Government announced that in England the 2m physical distancing guidelines are being relaxed to 1m. The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) has produced a poster outlining the difference in risk between 1m and 2m.
Downloadable Signage for Mosques
The MCB has also produced 17+ downloadable signage for mosques and community centres to display, including one-way arrows, and explaining wudhu areas remain closed.
UK Government guidance for England
The UK Government issued the latest generic guidance for places of worship in England from 4th July. This was last updated on 15 July.
Please note: MCB is not responsible for content produced by other organisations. All templates and example documents are shared for illustration purposes only and in the interest of sharing work taking place nationwide.
Supplementary Schools (Madrasas)
While there has been a lot of information on re-opening mosques, there is limited information on madrasas. Faith-based supplementary schools such as madrasas are still not permitted to open, but this may be reviewed again ahead 4th July for England.
A madrasa reopening guidance has been produced by the Lancashire Council of Mosques which can be referred to as a good starting point. See the 12 steps summary to re-opening madrasas below. The following summary was from the full madrasa reopening guidance which can be downloaded here (PDF).
See further guidance produced by the Association of Muslim Supplementary Schools (AMSS) below.
Abdullah Quilliam Society’s PPE Initiative
You can now buy your PPE through the Abdullah Quilliam Society Masjid’s PPE Initiative, and support the restoration of Britain’s first mosque.
Order your PPE now at www.abdullahquilliam.org/ppe
What is the safest way to clean our mosque?
The MCB has sought specific advice from Public Health England on cleaning carpets in mosques. The advice is:
Public Health England advises that soft surfaces that multiple people touch and put their face close to, such as shared kneeling pads, prayer mats and carpets, should be treated as communal objects. They should not be used unless they have been cleaned with soap or detergent or left untouched for 72 hours between each worshipper. When items cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered, for example, upholstered furniture and mattresses, steam cleaning should be used. Vacuuming is insufficient to remove the potential for the spread of infection. Worshippers are encouraged to bring their own prayer mats and kneeling pads if possible.
Those attending places of worship are reminded to follow the relevant social distancing rules, practice good hand and respiratory hygiene. Worshippers should stay at home if they (or any household members) are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus.
Air conditioning in hot weather – should my mosque use it or natural ventilation only?
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has published this guide on air conditioning and ventilation during the COVID pandemic:
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].
I need help delivering online services?
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 also partnered with the online crowdfunding platform LaunchGood to launch a national #SupportOurMosques Campaign when any mosque can make a free online fundraising page and receive free 1-to-1 advice and fundraising training webinars. Register for free support at: www.supportourmosques.com
Are any grants for mosques available?
In early July, small mosques of up to £250,000 annual turnover will be able to benefit from grants of up to £1,000 via the Jummah Grants scheme! Click here to find out more.
The current NHS advice is that as individuals should stay at home as much as possible, work from home if we can, and limit contact with others. If we go outside, to try to stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with (or anyone not in your support bubble). This is part of the UK’s social distancing measures to help slow down the spread of COVID19.
From Saturday 4th July:
- England – you can meet in groups up to two households in public or private, indoors or outdoors. When you are outside you can continue to meet in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines. It is against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes, or in a public outdoors space.
- Scotland – two separate households – up to a maximum of eight people – can meet outdoors, ideally travelling no more than five miles. See Scottish government’s coronavirus advice here.
- Wales – any number of people from two different households will be able to meet each other outside. As in Scotland, families should aim to travel no more than five miles. Beauty spots remain closed. See Welsh’s government coronavirus guidance here.
- Northern Ireland – groups of up to six people who do not live together can meet outdoors.
Read the Government’s guidance for meeting people outside your household here.
Read the Government’s guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships here.
Read the Government’s guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities here.
The following general guidelines should always best kept in mind to protect ourselves by following good hygiene practices:
- Wash hands frequently with soap/water (for at least 20 seconds) or hand sanitiser gel
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
- 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/uncleaned hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
Click here for further guidance and useful graphics from BBC.
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.
3. Advice for Umrah and Hajj Travellers and Eid Al Adha Celebration
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.
On Monday 22 June, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj & Umrah announced that the numbers performing Hajj will be “very limited” and that only Muslims from various nationalities residing in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to perform Hajj 2020. This means all international Hajjis, including those from the UK, will not be able to perform their Hajj this year. Read the MCB’s statement on these changes here.
For more information and general advice on Hajj 2020, visit the Hajj Advice page from the Council of British Hajjis UK
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.
4. 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.
5. Ramadan 2020
In 2020, Ramadan took place between 23/24 April to 23/24 May 2020. This year, the Month of Ramadan was a very different experience for Muslims all over the world due to the COVID-19 restrictions. The MCB produced at #RamadanAtHome guide which can be downloaded at:
The National Huffadh Association UK also produced a guide to praying Taraweeh At Home including how to keep children engaged during lockdown, which can be viewed online here.
6. Mental Health: Coping with stress during lockdown
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
7. 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).
Visit this dedicated MCB burial resources page for more information and FAQs. Due to potential differences in jurisprudence opinions, we strongly recommend consulting with your local Imam, scholar or funeral directors for specific advice
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)
8. 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.
9. 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.
Various Government support packages have been announce since March. For more information, visit the Dedicated Government Business Support website at www.businesssupport.gov.uk
Click here to find out more support for voluntary community and social enterprises including:
- Coronavirus Community Support Fund
- Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund
- Coronavirus Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund
- National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal
- Resilience and Recovery Loan Scheme
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Coronavirus Business Loan Interruption Scheme
- Deferral of the next quarter VAT payments
- Business rate relief/exemption
- Gift Aid
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
See a MCB summary of support schemes available here.
The KSIMC of London have produced a useful guide of financial support packages here
Hardship Grants for Individuals
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/
Grants for Mosques
Small grants of up to £1,000 for small mosques with an annual turnover of up to £250,000 are available through the #SupportOurMosques scheme. To find out more, visit: www.supportourmosques.com/JummahGrants
Other sources of emergency grant funding:
- Grants Online UK have documented a series of funds, visit 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
- NHS general COVID-19 advice
- NHS self-isolation advice
- UK Government COVID-19 Recovery Plan (12 June)
- 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/covidwhatsapp3
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.
Disclaimer: The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is not responsible for the content hosted on external websites.
Click here to donate and become a friend of the MCB www.mcb.org.uk/friends. Thank you for your support.