UPDATE: SFL Imams Council Joint Statement on Covid-19
STATEMENT OF IMAM COUNCIL OF SOUTH FLORIDA MUSLIM FEDERATION INC.
UPDATED: April 3, 2020
Bismillah, Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem, In the Name of Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful
The Federation has been closely monitoring the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and is working closely with the Imams council to manage the impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus). This is an unprecedented time for all of us. We must continue to rely on Allah (SWT) and know that He Alone, is in control, therefore nothing is out of control. At the same time, we continue to do our part, to maximize the safety of the South Florida Muslim community, by cooperating and following the guidelines from the CDC, healthcare experts, and local authorities.
As of April 3rd, 2020, there are over 250k cases in the US, and over 9000 cases in Florida. The US now has the highest number of cases globally. More than half of the Florida cases are in the tri-counties. The Florida Governor has now issued a state-side “Stay at Home” order until May 1st. Aggressive measures for social distancing must continue to be practiced by all of us, until such time as the CDC determines is safe to relax these measures. We pray that this calamity subsides soon, and Allah make it easy for all of us, especially those most impacted by the virus in their health and/or their economic situation.
Our updated recommendations are as follows:
RECOMMENDATION 1: Suspend Congregational Prayers until further notice.
RECOMMENDATION 2: Should a Masjid choose to allow individuals to perform daily prayers, they must observe the following guidelines:
- Advise elderly, sick, women, and children to avoid visiting the masjid.
- If you are infected or you suspect that you are infected, you must get tested immediately and practice self-quarantine. (For more coronavirus information, call the Florida information line at 866-779-6121 or visit Florida Department of Health’s website.)
- Masjid management should implement safe hygienic practices including disinfecting the prayer area, door knobs, light switches, wudu area, mics, Imam podiums, etc.
- The virus can last on surfaces for as long as 9 days. This includes the prayer mats in the masjid. Please advise congregants to bring their own prayer mats and encourage them to wash them regularly.
- Avoid shaking hands, embracing, and any other form of physical contact.
- Encourage covering mouth when sneezing or coughing using elbow or tissues. Dispose of tissue properly.
- Advise congregants to perform frequent hand washing especially before entering and after leaving the masjid.
It must be noted that the general guidelines from the CDC are that social distancing requires one to maintain a safe distance of 6 feet between individuals and Federal government guidelines state no gatherings should convene with more than 10 people.
RECOMMENDATION 3: Suspend all classes, social gatherings and events effective immediately. Please contact the Federation if you want to schedule online classes, khutbas or other events.
While we as South Florida Muslim community face this challenge, we need to join together in support, prayers and seek mercy from Allah to protect us, our families, our country and the world from this global pandemic.
May Allah accept our prayers and efforts.
Joint Statement Participants:
Imam Nasir Ahmad (Masjid Al-Ansar)
Br. Junaid Akhtar (Baitul Mukarram)
Br. Eoonous Azeem, (Jamaat Ul Mutaqeen)
Sheikh Ali Barakat (American Islamic Center of Florida)
Sheikh Tariq Chebbi (Miami Downtown Masjid / Masjid Al-Ihsaan)
Bilal Karakira (Islamic School of Miami)
Br. Shakeel Hye, (Islamic Center of Weston)
Imam Mohammed Jaffer (Islamic Jafferia Association)
Imam Fathi Khalfi, (Islamic Center of Boca Raton)
Mufti Izhar Khan, (Jamaat ul Mumineen)
Imam Naseeb Khan, (Nurul Islam)
Imam Muhammad Lunat (Muslim Community of Palm Beach County)
Mufti Sultan Mohiuddin, (Islamic Foundation of South Florida)
Imam Adrian Rajab, (Masjid Alhijra)
Imam Hasan Sabri, (Islamic Center of South Florida)
Imam Abdul Hamid Samra, (MCA of South Florida)
Nothing stated in this document by the meeting participants, medical professionals, and the South Florida Muslim Federation Inc. (Federation) officers and representatives, should be construed as legal advice. Masajid, Islamic Centers, and Islamic Schools are advised to comply with all Federal, State and local advisories, orders and regulations related to Covid – 19 and other matters.
The discussion points, comments and recommendations are as of this date and time and subject to change since the impact, state and conditions of Coronavirus outbreak is changing rapidly. Please stay tuned to new advisories and developments from the regulatory agencies and other organizations.
Our South Florida Imams had a direct call with Dr Hasan Shanawani, who is the President of American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP). He is a pulmonary and critical care doctor in Michigan, and now works for Medicare and Blue Cross but for the last 5 years he was a doctor consultant for the Veterans National Center for Patient Safety, which manages safety for 8 million Veterans in 150 hospitals in America. He was a vaccine delivery specialist for the Army in Kuwait and Kosovo in 1997. And he was on the IMANA ethics committee for 10 years and wrote their guidance on Islam and medical ethics 15 years ago. He is leading the effort for Fiqh Council of NA, IMANA, AMHP, ISNA and other national organizations to provide guidance to masjid in America
CLICK HERE for an important Video from Dr Hasan Shanawani.
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