Leeds Grand Mosque announces suspension of all communal prayer activities "with a heavy heart" for Covid safety

Leeds Grand Mosque has announced "with a heavy heart" that from today (Monday) it will be stopping all communal activities at the Mosque to ensure its congregation's safety against Covid.

Monday, 11th January 2021, 10:07 am
Updated Monday, 11th January 2021, 10:10 am
Leeds Grand Mosque

The Mosque has said it wants to do the "most it can to bring infection rates down and ease the pressure off the NHS".

By stopping all communal services, it hopes to protect the personal health and safety of its congregation along with everyone using the NHS.

It will review the suspension of services monthly and will continue online services and support for those in the congregation.

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The Mosque said that on January 8 it received communication from the Director of Public Health at Leeds City Council urging it to consider the suspension of communal activities until we know how the new variant is spread.

On January 9, it said that the British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) wrote to Muslim places of worship stressing that the new variant still appears to disproportionately impact ethnic minorities and strongly recommending it works with its respective Directors of Public Health, and consult local scholars and trusted healthcare professionals.

On January 10, the Mosque met with a committee of scholars and local healthcare professionals to discuss the local authority and BIMA recommendations.

It was then after these consultations that "with a heavy heart" the Mosque decided to stop all communal activities.

The suspension is effective from Fajr prayer on January 11.

The full statement on the Leeds Grand Mosque Facebook page said: "#Lockdown 3.0 Latest Updates

"Dear Brothers and Sisters, family of Leeds Grand Mosque,

"Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all,

"We make this announcement in a time when the NHS has reached near-breaking point. While London has been most strongly hit, the rest of the UK, including us in Leeds and Yorkshire, is projected to catch up with London in the following few days. This new variant is much more easily transmitted.

"Based on our commitment in front of Allah, first and foremost, to the personal health and safety of all of you in our congregation, and everyone using the National Health Service. We must do the most we can to bring infection rates down and ease the pressure off the NHS. This means reducing virus transmission and other risks such as travelling and driving. The direct impact is not just on those who contract COVID, but on anyone who has a need to use the NHS, for an accident, appendicitis, or any healthcare need.

"On January 8th 2021, we received communication from the Director of Public Health at Leeds City Council urging us to consider the suspension of communal activities until we know how the new variant is spread.

"On January 9th 2021, the British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) wrote to Muslim places of worship stressing that the new variant still appears to disproportionately impact ethnic minorities and strongly recommending we work with our respective Directors of Public Health, and consult local scholars and trusted healthcare professionals.

"On January 10th 2021, we met with a committee of our scholars and trusted local healthcare professionals to discuss the local authority and BIMA recommendations.

"Following these consultations, and with a heavy heart, we have come to the decision to stop all communal activities at Leeds Grand Mosque, effective from Fajr prayer of Monday January 11th, 2021. The suspension will be reviewed monthly and we will continue to provide you with updates regarding this unfolding situation. We will continue our online services and provide support to all those who need it in our precious congregation. Our scholars and trusted local healthcare professionals have stressed the need for this decision, in support of the recommendations of our local authority. It is only with these preventative measures, and timely execution, that we can get ahead of the curve, and protect our congregation, staff, volunteers and families and loved ones.

"For further details please go to: https://www.leedsgrandmosque.com/.../lockdown-3-latest...

"Assalamu alaikum

"LGM Management"