COVID-19 & Jumah Prayer at Masjids.

Appeal to Muslims in Peel Region by Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown to stay at home.

Brampton City Hall, Peel Region, Ontario, Canada.

Friday April 3 2020

“ If you learn of a city with a contagious affliction, do not enter it ;
If you are in it, do not leave it [ to prevent spreading the disease ] . ”

— The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

I saw this hadith being quoted by Shaikh Ahmad Kutty and wanted to pin that on my primary twitter account.

Not finding an existing graphic that I liked, I found the image, added the Hadith with that translation, and Alhumdulillah . . .

Feel free to download and share !

And of course, for now, Stay in Your Hometowns !

Shaikh Ahmad Kutty
March 13, 2020

“Oh Allah, we seek protection in You from all lethal and calumnious afflictions and diseases.”

The dangerously fast spread of a new Coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the world has resulted in expert advice against social gatherings, classes, and assemblies, conferences.

Cities and even entire countries are on virtual lockdown; airports are gutted, and marketplaces are vacant, and the Haram of Makkah is sparse with worshippers.

We are facing an unprecedented situation.

While the world has experienced Corona viruses such as SARS and MERS before, we have learned from disease experts around the world that the COVID-19 is more infectious, spreads faster at exponential rates, and is more life-threatening than what we have seen previously.

A person can be infected with this virus and show no signs of illness, and yet he or she could infect those they are in contact with.

The virus can spread quickly from person to person through physical contact, droplets released from sneezing or coughing, as well as touching something with the virus and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

It can be passed on through handshaking.

Therefore, experts are advising the public to keep a distance from people of at least two metres.

They also warn us that the virus could stay dormant within us from days to weeks.

This is why entire countries or cities are on lockdown currently around the world, and why events and gatherings are being cancelled widely.

Furthermore, add to this the gravity of the disease; people who are infected are quarantined, and if they were to die, funeral rites such as bathing and shrouding could not be performed in the usual way.

Therefore, the situation is grave in every sense, and hence the need for a strict ruling regarding Jumu’ah.

In our tradition, the pious predecessors have passed on the maxim: when unprecedented situations occur, the ruling becomes unprecedented as well or even stricter.

Due to the nature of our communal worship – especially in regards to physical and social contact – the Muslim practice of gathering for communal prayer calls for a more pressing ruling than general gatherings for events in the greater community.

It is virtually impossible to enforce the strict recommendations of experts and medical practitioners during our prayer gatherings.

During prayer itself, people stand in close proximity, shoulder to shoulder, and make sujud, breathing out onto the carpet which then another person will touch and breathe in.

They reflexively shake hands and hug each other – habits we have been conditioned to do for years!

Furthermore, even in the midst of wide public caution, many from our community will continue to frequent mosques, while unknowingly carrying viruses, either due to ignorance or merely harboring a fatalistic attitude of abandonment or resignation to fate, thus greatly endangering the lives of others.

This “Allah wills it” attitude runs counter to our Prophet’s injunction to plan, take all precautions, exhausting ourselves if we need to in situations to bring benefit or prevent harm.

Islam teaches us that we are to utilize all methods to prevent the spread of diseases which endanger lives and compromise human well-being.

Preservation of life is one of the five most fundamental objectives of Sharia.

In fact, it was the Prophet (peace be upon him) who established the principle of quarantine when he said,

“no person who is afflicted with a communicable disease should be brought near the healthy.” (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said,

“If you learn of a city with a contagious affliction, do not enter it; if you are in it, do not leave it [to prevent spreading the disease].” (Reported by Bukhari, Muslim and others)

He also advised us to keep away from those with disease, as demonstrated in the incident someone with leprosy stretched his hands to give the Prophet (peace be upon him) an oath allegiance, at which the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not take his hand but assured him gently,

“We have already received your oath of allegiance”. (Reported by Muslim)

It is even worth remembering that the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised those who consume garlic to stay away from prayer gatherings until they got rid of the foul smell.

He thus taught us to refrain from all activities that are offensive to others.

If this was his advice even on scents that may be bothersome, we can rest assured that in the event of an infectious disease such as this global pandemic of COVID-19, we are to refrain from bringing the potential for harm into our gatherings.

A far more relevant incident to cite is the story of Caliph Umar Ibn Khattab:

He was on his way to enter Sham.

When he heard that it was infected with cholera, he refused to enter the city and decided to return to Madinah.

When Abu Ubaida asked him,

“Are you fleeing from the decree of Allah?”,

Umar replied,

“Not at all; instead, we are fleeing from one decree of Allah to another!”

Then Umar asked,

“If you were to take your herd away from a drought stricken to a fertile valley, aren’t you complying with the decree of Allah?”

Umar was teaching us that accepting the will of Allah does not in any way contradict the human will and freedom to work to realize goals that are beneficial, nor to prevent any harm that he or she anticipates.

The principles of Sharia provide us guidance in this unprecedented situation.

The consensus of the scholars is that people who are sick or fear getting sick are excused from attending Jumu’ahs; likewise, those who are detained or imprisoned are also in this category.

In the case of COVID-19, people who are told to isolate themselves or to practice social distancing are also like virtual prisoners. They also fall into the category of those who are sick or fear of getting sick.

Additionally, the Prophet (peace be upon him) already set the precedent of cancelling congregational prayers during natural phenomena such as heavy rain or storm or flooding.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Where there is a tangible harm, it ought to be removed.”  (Reported by Bayhaqi)

Furthermore, the Sharia permits someone who is threatened with death to renounce his faith to save his life as long as he or she still cherishes faith in the heart.

This underlines the priority of the sacredness of life over the practice of outward expressions of faith.

Islam is a religion that teaches social responsibility and care for humanity – both in our local communities and in a global context.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Every one of you is like a shepherd, responsible for their herd.” (Reported by Bukhari)

In light of such evidence, Muslims ought to temporarily cancel all congregational prayer gatherings, including Jumu’ah, as well as other meetings and conferences until experts advise us that the risks have passed.

This prevents harm to our communities and the greater society and world we live in.

In conclusion, to implement preventative measures to deal with the unprecedented (in recent memory) situation of this global pandemic, experts have emphasized the importance of collective actions that depend on the cooperation of all members of society, and as such, we Muslims must equally shoulder the responsibility as caring citizens of the world as enjoined by Allah.

During this time of difficult trials, we must pray with increasing devotion and sincerity for sound health and protection from the Healer, the Curer, and the All-Compassionate and All-Merciful.

Video message from Shaikh Dr. Hamid Slimi, Imam of Sayeda Khadija Centre, on a few things to do in the light of the panic and uncertainty facing the Wuhan Corona Virus outbreak.

https://isnacanada.com/events/50th/

Guest Blog Post By Faisal Kutty

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the Jami Mosque, Toronto.

This was my regular hangout on Saturdays and Sundays as a teen.

Saturday morning classes with Dr. Thabit Mehdi, Sunday Islamic classes and my parents laid the foundations for my understanding of Islam.

After classes were done, before and after the afternoon prayers, we would play soccer, murder ball or handball.

We built strong friendships most of which have sustained to this day.

One of my best friends at the time Abdul Gaffar Shaikh passed away a few years ago (may his soul rest in peace). We used to spend a lot of time at the mosque because both of our parents worked at the mosque.

After my friends all left I had hours to kill waiting for my ride home, my father who was an imam there.

I had no phone, no video games and plenty of time.

Boredom ended up forcing me to read books in the mosque library (upstairs outside the imams offices).

I read many books including the Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Road to Mecca, etc.

When I ran out of books, I was forced to turn to journals, the Journal of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, Islamic Studies, and Muslim World Book Review.

I also became a regular reader of Arabia: The Islamic World Review, the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Afkar Inquiry, Islamic Horizons, and Impact International.

By the grace of God, within a decade of so after that period I had published articles in every single publication listed above.

In fact, I became the Canadian correspondent for the The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and filed stories for years before I got too busy.

Jami Mosque and boredom were two of the best things that ever happened to me.

I am sure many people have amazing stories of this great institution.

Guest Blog Post By Brother M Rashid Taylor (@MRashidTaylor)

I am fortunate to attend #Jami50 celebrating the 50 years anniversary celebration at The Toronto Jami Mosque, the oldest mosque in the GTA.

So many memories and much reacquainting with “old” friends.

Halifax Imam Jamal Badawi speaking on the centrality of the mosque in the lives of Muslims.

When a Muslim’s connection to the mosque lessens, connection to a rounded human life diminishes.

Dr. Thabit Mehdi taught Islamic weekend school starting 1974 and for 30 years at the Toronto Jami Mosque and only missed one weekend, when Mayor Lastman called in the army to remove snow in Toronto.

Dr. Katherine Bullock speaking on a history of the mosque and her own personal journey and connection with the Toronto Jami Mosque.

“A Canadian mosque, in an iconic neighbourhood, in an iconic church now an iconic mosque.

A reflection of a Canada with a changing demographic.”

— Haroon Siddiqui (@hsiddiquicanada)

Panel discussion with notable Toronto Imams Ibrahim Malabari, Ahmad Kutty, Abdul Hai Patel, Dr. El-Tantawy Attia and Dr. Iqbal Massod Al-Nadvi.

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Guest Blog Post By Brother H. A. Falou (@HAFalou)

أشارك اليوم مع عائلتي بحضور احتفالية مرور ٥٠ عاما على أقدم مسجد في تورنتو وهو أيضا من أقدم المساجد الكندية اسمه “المسجد الجامع” Jami Mosque وهو أصلا كنيسة تم شراؤها كنت عضوا في اللجنة التنفيذية المشرفة عليه في أواخر الثمانينات نافذة على كندا 🍁

هنا المسجد الجامع نافذة على كندا 🍁 نافذة_على_كندا 🍁

احتفابة مرور ٥٠ عاما على المسجد الجامع نافذة على كندا 🍁 نافذة_على_كندا 🍁

فقرة نشيد في احتفالية مرور ٥٠ عاما على المسجد الجامع نافذة على كندا 🍁 نافذة_على_كندا 🍁

بداية برنامج احتفالية مرور ٥٠ عاما على المسجد الجامع بتلاوة عطرة من القرآن الكريم بعد صلاة الظهر نافذة على

الاحتفاء بزوجين تزوجا في سنة ١٩٧٠م وكان أول زواج يتم في المسجد الجامع نافذة على كندا 🍁

الدكتور مهدي، دكتور في الهندسة النووية، أقام حلقة باللغة الإنجليزية لأكثر من ٣٥ سنة في المسجد الجامع نافذة على كندا 🍁


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Toronto’s first mosque opens in 1969

The Story

“Where once worshippers sat on pews, they now kneel on a new carpet oriented to Mecca.

In 1969, Toronto’s estimated 5,000 Muslims have a place to worship in the city’s [second] mosque, built in a renovated Presbyterian church.

CBC-TV’s The Day It Is visits the Jami Mosque on opening day to observe the prayer service and speak to imam Mirza Qadeer Baig about how it came together.”

The Day It Is joins the worshipers of Toronto’s [second] mosque, simultaneously celebrating opening day in the converted Presbyterian Church near Roncesvalles, and the holy feast day of Eid-al-Adha.

Though it’s not Canada’s first Muslim place of worship (Al-Rashid Mosque, Edmonton, 1938), this clip is likely the first time non-Muslim viewers in Canada, particularly the GTA, had a glimpse inside one.

The clip also features broadcasting legend Barbara Frum 2 years before she joined the show that introduced her to all of Canada, CBC Radio’s As It Happens.”

Medium:
Television
Program:
The Day It Is
Broadcast Date:
Feb. 27, 1969
Hosts:
Barbara Frum, Warren Davis
Guests:
Mirza Qadeer Baig, Seitali (Babe) Kerim, Rajjab Assim
Duration:
6:35


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Guest Blog Post By Sister Nidaa (@Nidz__)

Today, I celebrated Eid with one of my closest/dearest/oldest friend who is a new convert.

Even if most of my family are doing Eid tomorrow I’m glad I did it today so she wasn’t alone in her Eid celebrations.

(Note: the mosque I most frequently attend/follow declared Eid today)

I took her to Islamic Institute of Toronto (@IIT1630) for Eid salaah.


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CBC TV Vancouver coverage of Eid Al Fitr including MAC Eid Al Fitr 2019 at BC Place.

A nice video log of Eid Al Fitr Celebrations in Dentonia Park organized by Danforth Islamic Centre in Toronto.