Statement No.2 Issued by the Irish Council of Imams (ICI)
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Most Gracious
The Development of COVID-19 and its impact on the congregational and Friday prayers and the rules of Funeral prayers.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and may His Peace, Blessings and Mercy be upon the one sent as a mercy to all that exists.
The Irish Council of Imams while continuing to monitor the implications of the Coronavavirus pandemic urges Muslims to renew their connection with Allah (The Most Glorified) and to continue doing good deeds that bring them closer to Him, such as extra prayers, giving in charity, fasting, etc.
Muslims are urged during this time to pray to Allah to remove this pandemic and affliction from this country, Ireland, and the rest of the world, and to continuously seek Allah’s forgiveness and make sincere repentance.
Furthermore, the ICI emphasises the following:
1- Muslim families in Ireland are strongly encouraged to organize their time wisely and invest it by availing of the opportunity while in isolation to arrange educational, spiritual and recreational activities amongst their family members and those they are socially isolating with. Likewise the ICI strongly advises Muslims to keep their family ties and to forgive each other, keeping in touch with all their relatives and loved ones as much as possible by making use of the available means to them. During this time it is important to keep their loved ones in their prayers for safety and security.
2- The mosques, Islamic Centres and prayer halls, should remain closed and that prayers continue to be performed at home. Friday prayer should be prayed as normal Dhuhr prayer (4 Ra’kas). This is in order to prevent harm and preserve lives and in response to the health experts’ advice and the respected Muslim Scholars’ fatwas.
3- The Council encourages all able bodied Muslims, male and female, to extend their helping hands to those in need of any type of assistance in their localities and to register their readiness for, and interest in voluntary works assisting the HSE staff and health authorities in handling the implications of the Pandemic.
4- Anyone who develops any signs or symptoms of the COVID-19 virus should immediately self isolate and contact their GP or nearest hospital by phone, to arrange to undergo the necessary tests for his/her own safety and that of those around them.
5- In case of death due to infection with COVID-19, the ICI, after thorough discussions and seeking the opinions of medical experts, concluded that the body of the deceased should be buried in the same sealed bag and coffin (tabut) used in the hospital without any Ghusl (washing) or Tayammum (Islamic ritual of dry purification) and that funeral prayer be performed at the grave followed by burial. People are invited to perform Salatul Gha'ib (absentee funeral prayer) at their homes.
Accordingly, the body will not be transported to the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland for washing or shrouding or to the Islamic Foundation of Ireland The ICI emphasises that the body should be transferred directly to the cemetery, where the funeral prayer will be offered.
10th Shaaban 1441 H. Corresponding to 3rd of April, 2020
Sheikh Hussein Halawa (Chairman) Sheikh Yahya Al-Hussein (Vice Chairman)
Copies of the Statement in Arabic and English can be found attached below.