On Monday 4th January 2021 the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced a national lockdown and instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.
The decision for the lockdown was made following a rapid rise in infections, hospital admissions and case rates across the country, with hospitals now under more pressure than they have been at any other point throughout the pandemic. This drastic jump in cases has been attributed to the new variant of COVID-19, which scientists have now confirmed is between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible.
We recognise that the government is allowing places of worship to remain open under new lockdown restrictions. However, the Trustees of the British Muslim Heritage Centre met and agreed to suspend the Friday Jummah prayers during the lockdown. The decision has been taken due to:
- Concerns regarding the very high levels of COVID-19 within Greater Manchester, with higher rates amongst the BAME community in comparison to any other ethnic group.
- The safety of Muslims coming to prayers including the safety of their families, and for us to play our part in helping to reduce the pandemic which is having a massive impact on local communities.
The decision to suspend Friday Jummah prayers is effective from today. However, the Trustees will review the decision at the end of the national lockdown and thereafter keep the situation under constant review.
The Chair, Nasar Mahmood OBE, said, “This decision by the Trustees has not been taken lightly but with a heavy heart. We are aware the importance of Jummah prayers and prayers in general for the Muslim community. However, we also recognise that preservation of life is of the utmost importance in Islam. Bearing this in mind we have placed the safety of our congregation, our staff and our volunteers above our strong desire to maintain communal worship at the Centre.”
We are advising families to pray together at home, and we will continue to broadcast discussions and updates through our media platforms on Heritage Radio, YouTube channel, website and social media. Our various programmes will also continue via webinars.
This post is also available in: Arabic