With heart-wrenching stories unravelling every day about families losing loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Council for Mosques (CfM) urges people to continue observing the holy month of Ramadan at home.

Since lockdown on Monday 23rd March, mosques across the country suspended congregational activities and prayers in a united effort to safeguard not only Muslims, but also the wider community.

The message to stay at home couldn’t be reiterated at a more poignant time than during Ramadan.

Muslims across the globe spiritually enhance their personal connection to Islam by observing sunrise to sunset abstinence from food, drink and worldly pleasures. This is also a time of great reflection of their lives and how they contribute to society.

Zulfi Karim DL, President of CfM says: “Firstly, I pray that you are having a blessed start to the month and you are benefiting from the first 10 days of Ramadan which are about connecting with our Maker.

“I thank you for heeding the advice of CfM on suspending all congregational prayers on 20th March. As a result, I can assure you, you have saved many lives.

“By staying and home and protecting your families – you have been instrumental in keeping the death rates low in Yorkshire compared with the national forecast.”

Scholars and Imams from the city have been advising and assisting CfM during this unprecedented time, and been promoting the message of following lockdown protocols.

CfM also pays tribute to NHS frontline staff who have sadly lost lives to save ours.

DEFENCE: Zulfiqar Karim, secretary of the Bradford Council for Mosques, said Muslim communities feel targeted by government with plans for mosques and madrassa surveillance
ENCOURAGING: Zulfi Karim DL, President of Bradford Council for Mosques (CfM) thanks people for following social distancing and #StayAtHome guidelines imposed by the Government

“CfM reiterates our gratitude to the wonderful doctors and medical care professionals who have been on hand to give first hand expert medical guidance for the BAME community; in particular to the Muslim community and how we can safely carry out burial of our deceased,” adds Mr Karim.

“We thank the hospitals in the Bradford district for putting in extra provisions for faith with the appointment of Imams to the hospital to support the chaplaincy service.

“And the support from Bradford Council’s bereavement services has been instrumental in keeping Muslim funeral and burial services operating during this very difficult time.”

With great examples on how Muslims are continuing to perform their duties to the faith during lockdown, CfM has heard some amazingly inspirational stories of how people have adapted their daily communications by using innovative digital technology.

“To communicate with each other, mosques and madrassas have created commendable online platforms to deliver sermons and classes for children,” he says.

“And, we feel our local businesses are equally applaudable for their stoic efforts to support those who are most-vulnerable in our society – regardless of race, creed or religion.”

Mr Karim puts in the spotlight the heart-warming generosity of on-going charity initiatives which are being carried out during the pandemic.

“People have been remarkable during this time of crisis. Personal endeavours to support the community, all done on a voluntary level, is so up-lifting and deserves recognition.

“They are delivering food parcels, shopping for the elderly, disabled or vulnerable, and offering friendly telephone chats for those who are lonely.

“They’ve not only made provisions to donate and distribute food and medication to those facing difficulties whilst in isolation at home, they’re also supporting the NHS by sourcing and providing much needed PPE.”

Since mosques run on donations from the community, suspension of congregational prayers and teachings across all mosques and Muslim supplementary faith schools in Bradford during the COVID-19 outbreak has raised some financial concerns.

Some mosques may have reserves, and therefore able to weather this storm, but many others will struggle. CfM has already set-aside £100,000 of its own money to support our mosques through theses very difficult times.