Published August 5th, 2020
Mosques and other places of worship were encouraged to temporarily close in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 when confirmed cases started to show up around the world. With governments modifying restrictions according to current developments surrounding the pandemic, there are mosques that were given the go signal to allow members of the community to gather once more and worship together.
As regulations continuously develop depending on current COVID-19 cases, fulfilling religious obligations as a community during a pandemic need some guidance to help prevent the spread of disease among individuals and families.
Religion and COVID-19
The pandemic disrupted religious activities including those normally conducted in mosques—Friday prayers, Eid al Fitr celebrations, and other activities that involve people congregating such as the annual Hajj pilgrimage were not allowed. In order to comply with restrictions and adapt to developing conditions surrounding the pandemic, Islamic religious councils such as those in Indonesia, North America, UK, and Singapore and government bodies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released guidance that help local communities navigate COVID-19 while engaging in religious activities that take health and safety into consideration. Here are the main highlights of those guidance:
Prayers and Community Activities
The Fiqh Council of North America have communicated that prayers and other obligations normally done together as a community can alternatively be observed at home among family members during the pandemic. The Indonesian MUI has advised that individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 should be mindful to not allow its further spread to the public and conduct prayers at home.
Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
Being aware of practicing respiratory etiquette can help prevent the coronavirus from spreading. Frequent and proper handwashing is encouraged and using hand sanitizers that contain alcohol is allowed.
Cleaning and Disinfection
The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects using EPA-approved cleaning agents. Singapore’s Office of the Mufti encourages bringing one’s own prayer mat and avoiding close physical contact to avoid possible exposure.
The UK’s MCB advises limiting the number of people that gather during religious celebrations and that those who would like to participate in the Hajj should wait for further announcements. Saudi Arabia has not yet lifted the suspension on pilgrimage while the kingdom is currently focusing its efforts on handling COVID-19.
The New Normal for Mosques
While mosques and other places of worship cater to the community during this challenging COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a need to ensure that the congregation is protected by implementing precautionary measures that are also aligned with religious tenets. iAuditor by SafetyCulture has free checklists that are created based on the latest guidelines intended to keep places of worship safe while being mindful of religious practices.
Please note that these checklists, while created with the latest best practices in mind, provide basic information only and are not intended to take the place of medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should also seek your own professional advice to determine if the use of such checklists are permissible in your area.
Featured Mosque Reopening Checklists
COVID-19 Community and Faith-based Organizations Checklist (CDC)
Use this as a guideline of precautionary measures for worship facilities such as mosques, churches, temples, synagogues, or other venues where people congregate for religious activities or other community functions.
Facilities Reopening Readiness Checklist
This facilities reopening readiness checklist can be used as a guide when reopening any facility during or after the COVID-19 pandemic. Conduct a risk assessment of the facility and identify possible risks that can lead to the spread of COVID-19. Check if precautionary measures are in place and if being followed properly. iAuditor templates are free and can be edited to fit the needs of your facility.