The Association of Islamic Charitable Projects (AICP) UK begins this message by mentioning the name of Allah and by praising and thanking Him. Nothing can occur except by His Will and nothing can be prevented from occurring except by His Will.
May Allah raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad, his kind ‘Al and Companions and protect his nation from what he feared for it.
Thereafter, news about the current coronavirus, COVID-19, is understandably making many people worried about themselves and others.
The UK and the international community are experiencing different reactions by the spread of COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus that can cause both mild and serious illnesses.
In light of recent government announcements, medical advice, changing protocols at work and public venues, we as an organisation recognise the need to also provide some guidance to our friends and affiliates and hope that this hereunder addresses most of the questions we have been receiving.
AICP UK offers sound advice taken from our Religion, Islam, and supporting advice from expert health opinions about how to keep safe.
First of all we know that whatever Allah eternally Willed to be shall be and whatever He eternally had not Willed to be shall never be.
The Prophet, may Allah raise his rank, advised us that Allah created both the diseases and their cures and for every disease there has been a cure created except in the case of death itself. It was narrated that he said:
This means: Know that whatever struck you would not have missed you, and whatever missed you was not going to strike you.
Further to that the Prophet advised, as mentioned in the narration of our master ^Uthman, to recite the following in Arabic thrice in the morning (at Fajr) and thrice in the evening (at Maghrib), so that if Allah Willed, one would be protected from all harms, including the harms of illnesses, what means:
“I mention the name of Allah (to seek protection), The One by Whose Name being mentioned nothing in the Earth or the Sky can (cause) harm, and He (Allah) is The Hearing One and The Knowledgeable One (The One Who Hears and Knows).
Bismillahi-l-ladhi la yadurru ma^asmihi shaiy’un fi-l-‘ardi wa la fi-s-samaa’i wa huwa-s-sami^ul-^alim
AICP UK SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY
We are seeking to support as many vulnerable people in our community as possible, especially those who are considered to be at risk. If you know anyone who is in need of assistance with religious, medical or other practical issues in relation to the current coronavirus outbreak, please get in touch with your local AICP centre or local representative.
You may already be aware of individual friends and affiliates of AICP from the health professions who have started their own initiatives to collect a volunteer base offering support to the community. Alongside their initiative, we are also offering advice, as well as transporting items of food and hygiene supplies needed by those taking the precautions of self-isolation, and providing updates or reassurances.
We welcome any comments you may have regarding any thoughts, queries, suggestions and general sharing of your stories in our comments section here. It might be that as a community we will then be able to address and reassure more people appropriately with adequate responses and support. Please do not share any private information or contact details and we remind you that the comments section is not a place to ask questions about religious laws and judgements; for that please contact your local centre or rep to guide you.
GENERAL ADVICE FROM AICP UK
The following is a list of general advices that we should be implementing in our daily lives with a sincere intention and which, by the Will of Allah would be a protection for us in this time:
- Be firm in relying upon Allah. This means to do your best in keeping yourself safe, and thereafter being patient and not being preoccupied with what is not in your control.
- Intend daily to preserve your strength for the sake of Allah in order to fulfil obligations and refrain from sins.
- Be regular with reciting the tahsin (supplications of protection) daily – for information about this please contact your local AICP rep or branch.
- Frequently engage in reciting from al-Qur’an, dhikr, du^a and good deeds, even if you become ill you will still be blessed. Remember trials such as these, for some, can be a means of obtaining forgiveness of sins and elevation in rank.
- When one of the ‘ummah suffers, the whole of the ‘ummah suffers, so take responsibility in protecting your health and the health of others:
- a) If you and those you are in regular contact with develop symptoms, particularly if you develop a persistent cough and fever, then isolate yourselves at home.
- b) Seek medical attention for the ones who develop a cough and a fever and use the online NHS 111 service to get preliminary advice https://111.nhs.uk/
- c) The Sunnah leads us to cover our nose and mouth if we sneeze. Continue this practice if you sneeze or cough and if it was your hands you used to cover your face with, then wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
- d) Keep yourselves clean and be consistent with personal hygiene, in particular washing hands by using soap and water e.g. before and after eating, visiting places, using the bathroom, returning home from outside, touching surfaces, touching yours/others’ eyes, nose and mouth etc.
- e) Wipe clean worktops and objects in regular use that are frequently touched e.g. laptops and phones.
- f) If attending a gathering, come prepared with ablutions (wudu’) completed at home.
- g) Avoid unnecessary meet-ups, even in small gatherings.
6. Be particularly kind, merciful and caring towards your elderly, children and ill:
- a) Those who are over 60 years old should be helped with their needs so that they can remain at home away from increased risk. Likewise for those who are pregnant or compromised in their health.
- b) Young children are not as affected by the virus but they are effective carriers of the virus and so should also be prevented from gathering in groups.
7. Maintain a healthy and balanced diet, which includes preventative medical measures, like avoiding excessive eating, and including foods connected with improved health in your diet, such as honey, vinegar, olive oil, dates and water.
8. It has been narrated that the Muslim who says the following during an illness from which he dies, he will not be touched by Hell-Fire:
La ilaha il-la-llahu w-allahu akbar
La ilaha il-la-llahu wahdahu la sharikalah
La ilaha il-la-llahu lahu-l-mulku walahul-hamd
La ilaha il-la-llahu wala–hawla wala-quwwata il-la billah
9. Be responsible when buying supplies from supermarkets e.g. food, sanitary products, medicines etc. and do not hoard in the forbidden way or seek to take advantage of holding stock that others also need.
10. Find out from others who are unable to go out due to weakness, age, illness or isolation, what they require and help get it to them.
11. Take time to self-reflect and stay calm as this will help you and the community around you.
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Many AICP UK events, lessons and scheduled communal activities may be cancelled following governmental instructions and in showing solidarity with our society in trying to contain the virus outbreak. However, you are advised to contact your local AICP branch and representative for details about specific classes or events. We list hereunder some general announcements from our main UK centres and how to contact them for more information:
LONDON – (Contact 07805212378 or local representative)
- The regular Tuesday and Saturday sessions will be live streamed via YouTube or Facebook– please contact the branch for further details.
- The Friday congregational prayers will be completed within ten minutes of stated start times – please seek out information from your local representative about updates for specific venues. Attendees are requested to have performed their ablutions (wudu’) off-site. Attendees may choose to bring in their own prayer mat to avoid potential contaminants from communal mats.
BIRMINGHAM – (Contact 07807029512 or local representative)
- The Regular public sessions will be set up on Facebook livestream to enable attendees to continue self-isolating.
- Please contact your branch or local representative for updates regarding the plan for the Friday prayer.
HALIFAX – (Contact 01422255883 or local representative)
- Attendees are asked to take proper precautions in line with sound medical and official advice.
May Allah grant you what is good and He Knows Best.
General Medical Information about COVID-19
- Coronaviruses cause disease that affects the lungs and breathing. The current crisis is being caused by a new strain of this virus called COVID-19. So far it has been spreading at increasing and debilitating rates internationally, including within the UK.
- The commonest symptoms of the disease are tiredness, associated with a persistent cough and fever. But it is possible that general symptoms like a cold are the only symptoms to occur.
- Not everybody who gets infected would show symptoms, however the virus may still be in them and they have the potential to spread it to others who may then develop symptoms.
- Health professionals believe that droplets of moisture that exit the body, for example when coughing, sneezing, exhaling breaths or blowing, can carry the virus taking it from person to person resulting in one developing symptoms or carrying the virus further. Coughing is thought to be the cause of the most potent transmission.
- Surface tops and objects can hold the virus and result in somebody picking it up.
- In its milder state, COVID-19 infection may feel like a bad cold, and in its severest state, it prevents breathing and can result in death.
- It is said that those who are above 60 years old, pregnant, and those who are already unwell, weakened or health compromised e.g. with diabetes, heart disease, COPD, cancer etc., are more in danger of suffering from the severe symptoms.
- Children and young adults appear to mainly develop a mild illness from COVID-19 and recover well; however they have been dubbed as “super carriers” as they can pass the virus unknowingly on to other more vulnerable people.
- A person may have the virus for 14 days before symptoms develop.
- Due to the nature of how the virus spreads health professionals have advised against groups of people, who do not live together, from congregating for significant periods of time in large or small gatherings to minimise the spread.
- To minimise or extinguish the infection individuals are being urged to be consistent with personal hygiene, in particular washing hands and using soap and water e.g. before and after eating, visiting places, using the bathroom, returning home from outside, after coughing or sneezing onto your hands etc.
- Keeping a distance of 2 metres or so between you and another person who is coughing or sneezing can protect you from catching the virus.
- Wash your hands first if you need to touch body openings like the eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze to prevent spreading contaminated droplets.
- Keep yourself at home if you feel ill and in general avoid travelling to help contain the virus and prevent it spreading.
- There isn’t a unified stance on wearing face/nose masks but if the one who is ill wears, it they might prevent the spread of the virus to others. If adopting this approach, a fresh mask needs to be used every 15 minutes.
- Seek medical attention if you have a persistent cough coupled with a fever.
Please note: These advices may change as more is learnt about the COIVD-19.