BBSI GUIDANCE ON KEEPING MOSQUES OPEN FOR PRIVATE WORSHIP – BBSI-G10
- The various pieces of guidance are issued by central guidance, interpreted and enforced by local authorities, and then implemented by masajid. This means that there is a lot of scope for difference of interpretation and potential confusion.
- BBSI, being part of the government taskforce, have co-authored and signed a high-level inter-faith letter to the government that strongly reinforces the necessity of faith in the life of the community, and the centrality of the masajid in providing this. We also support the statements regarding this issued by various Muslim organisations. We are also working to establish collective worship as soon as possible and iron out any confusion arising from Government Guidance.
- During the November lockdown, masajid can remain open for individual worship, and where possible, we should continue to honour them whilst maintaining safety. We advise all masajid to notify the local authority and police of any permitted activity according to the Regulation to avoid any misunderstanding and misapplication of the Regulation.
- However, it has been made clear that, unfortunately, no communal worship allowed at all, including Jumua and both formal (Imam-led) and informal congregations. We advise all Masjids to follow the Regulation and Gov Guidance. Where there is apparent conflict with the Regulation and Gov Guidance, follow the Regulation, seek legal advice and clarification from the LA and Police. It is important for masajid to be aware of any dangers and concerns as a result of Covid19 both locally and nationally.
- There are no change to the regulations for funerals, and janaza congregations can occur with up to thirty participants.
- There is latitude within the current wording of the guidance and regulations for madrassas, including in places of worship, to remain open for ‘reasonable and necessary education’. This may change if the regulations change. Madrassas should consider on their own facts whether this is the case for them, and liaise closely with their local authority and the police, as well as ensuring that the education can be delivered safely. Online education should carry on where possible.
- Jumua cannot be performed virtually – see our previous guidance for details of this.
- We remind all believers that, notwithstanding the importance of our places of worship, it is a religious priority to maintain our own and others’ health, and we urge Muslims to continue to care for themselves and all members of the British community, and to keep safe.
- This is likely to be another very difficult period for all of us. We may well once again encounter deaths and serious illness in our community, the inability to perform our religious obligations, increasing isolation, worsening mental illness and extreme pressure on the NHS and its staff. Where there is an increase in infection rates, hospitalisation and deaths and the capacity of the NHS is overstretched to breaking point consider further voluntary limits of even permitted activity at the Masjid.
- Lastly, We ask Allah that all of us are given the taufiq to turn to Him in supplication, patience and worship.
For full guidance please click BBSIG10 – Guidance on keeping mosques open – lockdown 2