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Coronavirus: BBC Begins Broadcasting Weekly Islamic Sermons as Mosques Remain Shut

Local radio to broadcast weekly Islamic religious service in the absence of congregational prayer.

The broadcast aims to create a radio community when there can not be a physical one.

Muslim communities in the city have become able to tune in to BBC Radio Leicester on Friday mornings, when an imam will share reflections and Islamic readings.

To help Muslims self-isolating at homes, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has begun airing Islamic reflections and prayers on 14 local radio stations as mosques remain shut amid the coronavirus pandemic, Leicester Mercury reported.

From Friday, April 3, Muslim communities in the city have become able to tune in to BBC Radio Leicester on Friday mornings, when an imam will share reflections and Islamic readings.

In accordance with Government guidance, religious institutions have now closed to the public, including the many mosques across the city. The changes have affected the daily routine of many Muslims who attend a mosque regularly to pray.

Now, in addition to the weekly Christian service broadcast locally on Sundays, a spot for Muslim listeners will coincide with the day of Jummah – the Friday prayers that hold special significance in Islam.

Each week, at 5.50am, a different imam will lead the broadcast, reciting a verse from the Quran or saying from the Prophet, then translate it and talk about its relevance today followed by a minute of prayer.

A senior imam in Leeds, Qari Asim MBE, was the first to lead the weekly service.

Chris Burns, head of BBC Local Radio, said: “Local radio is all about connecting communities and we hope these weekly reflections will go some way to helping Muslims feel a sense of community while they are isolating.”

While many Muslims already pray at home, for some people an absence congregational prayer in a mosque will be missed, especially during Ramadan.

The religious services have begun broadcasting on 14 local radio stations across the UK, including Leicester.

The broadcasts will also be available to listen to afterwards on the BBC Sounds website.

The stations broadcasting the reflections are:

Leeds

Sheffield

Lancashire

Manchester

WM

Leicester

Stoke

Derby

Nottingham

Coventry and Warwickshire

Three Counties

London

Merseyside

Berkshire


Source: https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk with some modifications

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ABC's of Islam New Muslims

AMJA Declaration Regarding Coronavirus and Congregational Prayer

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the new coronavirus could spread worldwide. More and more countries are banning major public events to try to limit the spread of the virus. Last Thursday, Saudi Arabia announced a temporary ban on Muslims from entering the country to perform ‘Umrah (the Lesser Pilgrimage).

On the other hand, many Muslims are asking about congregational prayer. Is it allowed to suspend the congregational  prayers in Masjids? Here is AMJA Declaration Regarding this issue.

People with symptoms of the disease (which are like those of flu) should avoid coming to the masjids if they suspect that they may be infected until they check with their healthcare providers and ensure they are not.

All Praise Be to Allah, and May His Blessings and Peace Be on the Messenger of Allah,

The Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA) received several inquiries regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the proper response by the masjids and individual Muslims. In response, AMJA issued the following statement:

First: concerning the managements of the Islamic centers

It is not permissible for the masjids and Islamic centers to suspend the congregational prayers and jumuah because of the spread of the virus in the United States, unless the local public health authorities in a particular city advise the suspension of services at the houses of worship and avoidance of large public gatherings. In the event of that development, the masjid managements should comply with such instructions. This would be a sufficient excuse to pray jumuah at home (as dhuhr) until the restriction is removed.

It is permissible for the masjid managements to demand those with flu symptoms to wear masks during the congregational prayers. It is also permissible to assign a room for them or a designated area in the prayer hall, and to advise them to avoid handshaking with the other worshippers and follow the proper precautions to prevent the transmission of the disease.

The masjid managements should follow the updates that are periodically issued by the public health agencies like CDC and comply with their instructions.

Second: concerning the Muslim public

The permissibility of missing jumuah and congregational prayers out of fear of the disease depends on several variables. As for the daily congregational prayers, the matter is simpler since they are not obligatory according to the majority. The majority of those who considered them obligatory did not demand their performance at a masjid. As for the jumuah, it is not permissible for adult men who are otherwise required to attend it to miss it except in the case of justifiable, not conjectural, fear. What matters in this regard is the instructions of the public health authorities. If they advise the avoidance of all public gatherings, then the epidemic has reached a level making that fear justifiable. As for the higher risk groups, such as old people and those with chronic disease, they should follow the advice of their primary healthcare providers. They are most entitled to concessions.

People with symptoms of the disease (which are like those of flu) should avoid coming to the masjids if they suspect that they may be infected until they check with their healthcare providers and ensure they are not. This is because the harm of spreading this virus is much greater than that of bothering the people with the odor of garlic; and the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “He who eats of this plant (garlic) should not come near our masjid and should not bother us with the odor of garlic.”

We ask Allah for safety and wellbeing for ourselves and all people.

AMJA Resident Fatwa Committee


Source: amjaonline.org

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