Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings on His final messenger, Muhammad ﷺ. We ask Allah to grant us patience, to strengthen our reliance on Him, and to increase us in our faith and good deeds.
The government’s announcement to open places of worship from 15th June for ‘private individual prayer’ is welcome. In the context of the religious practices of the Muslim community, it is important to clarify the scope of updated government guidelines pertaining to the re-opening of places of worship. When they come into effect on Monday 15th June 2020, these guidelines will allow for “private individual worship”, and not congregational prayer under any circumstance. That is, congregational prayer will not be allowed regardless of group size, and even if social distancing and other safety precautions are in place.
Therefore, any expectation from the community to resume congregational prayer from 15th June creates difficulty for mosques since doing so goes well beyond the scope of these guidelines.
The Sunni Council of Mosques and Luton Council of Mosques advice, based on government guidance, is for Mosques to remain closed until congregational prayers are allowed. Covid-19 is still present and poses a threat to life, with higher cases within BAME communities. We recognise our responsibility to ensure that appropriate steps be taken to minimise risk to health before Mosques can open safely to the public for congregational prayer.
The Muslim Council of Britain has developed a guide based on consultation with Luton masaajid and hundreds of other UK masaajid to help UK mosque leaders carefully plan and decide when and how to reopen, ahead of the expected easing of restrictions on places of worship for congregational prayer, whilst maintaining the safety and wellbeing of their communities. Read the 9 steps to re-opening Mosques Safely guidance.
Luton Borough Council has issued a guidance letter and information pack for venues. Click these links to view or download these documents: