Covid-19 Diary

Covid-19 Diary

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم


I am currently on the Istanbul to London Heathrow Turkish Airlines flight, and a flight attendant has reminded me to wear the face mask. Two years have passed, and Covid-19 has transformed the world, although the media attention has turned to the ongoing war in Ukraine in recent weeks.

At the beginning of the pandemic, a very dear friend Dr Riyad Kallingal who I was liaising with very closely on Covid related matters suggested to me that I should pen a diary for the benefit of future generations. Initially, I did not pay much attention to this. However, on 3 May 2020 (10 Ramadan 1441), I started to write a diary, thinking that it shall not exceed a few months. Now that two years have passed, I thought it useful to revisit the diary and publish it online.

Several points are worth noting in this regard:

First, the entries prior to 3 May 2020 are based on memory, other writings of mine, and external sources. Every attempt has been made to ensure that the dates are correct.

Second, this diary provides context to some of the Covid related Fatwas on our website. Al-Ḥamdulillāh, we answered more than 100 Q&As on Covid related matters and also authored some articles, resources and guidelines. These were published online and also referenced by public authorities such as the NHS, academics along with the local, national and international media. Some were also translated into other languages including French, Spanish, German, Swedish and Urdu. The following web page features links to all the published Q&As and articles in reverse chronological order. These Q&As and articles are important to read in conjunction with this diary, as they form an important part of the Covid timeline and narrative. Many are also referred to in this diary. It is also worth noting that we authored some Fatwas which were not published online. A few of these are alluded to in this diary.

Third, the external sources this diary has relied on frequently include: BBC News, Guardian News, The British Foreign Policy Group and the UK Government’s website.

Fourth, this diary will be continued and updated Inshāʾ Allah on a regular basis.

May Allah Almighty accept this collection, enable the Ummah to reflect upon the pandemic and bring change into our lives. Āmīn.

Dr Yusuf Shabbir

10 Shaʿbān 1443 / 13 March 2022

End of December 2019

  • News reports emerge about the outbreak of a disease in China.
  • The general feeling is that this is something restricted to China similar to Ebola and other diseases of the recent past.
  • I travel to India with Shaykh Muḥammad and two of his colleagues from Ummah Welfare Trust on 29 December 2019 and return to the UK on Monday 6th January 2020. The outward journey is via ʿUmrah in Saudi Arabia where we meet my parents, and the return journey is via UAE where we meet with Afzal Majid and his family.
  • The atmosphere in India is tense. However, there are no measures in relation to Coronavirus in any of the three countries. It is business as usual.

January 2020

Wed 8 Jan 2020

  • Shaykh Muḥammad and I travel via train to London City Airport to receive Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUsmānī and his wife. He is our guest for the UWT roadshow.
  • My parents return from Saudi Arabia to the UK.

Sat 11 Jan 2020

  • China records its first death from Coronavirus.

Mon 13 Jan 2020

  • Shaykh Ḥanīf, Shaykh Rafīq and I travel to Walsall and Birmingham City Airport to bid farewell to Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUsmānī. Refer to the account of this journey titled ‘UK visit by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (Jan 2020)’ for more details.
  • The 1st Coronavirus case is reported outside of China in Thailand.

Mon 20 Jan 2020

  • The 1st case is reported in USA, in Washington.

Wed 22 Jan 2020

  • Public Health England announces it is moving the risk level to the British public from ‘very low’ to ‘low’.
  • London Heathrow Airport begins screening all arrivals from Wuhan.

Thu 23 Jan 2020

  • Wuhan province in China is placed under quarantine. This is where the virus is thought to have emerged.

Wed 29 Jan 2020

  • The UK’s first two patients test positive after two Chinese nationals from the same family staying at a hotel in York fall ill.
  • A plane evacuating Britons from Wuhan arrives at RAF Brize Norton. Passengers go into a 14-day quarantine at a specialist hospital in Merseyside.

Thu 30 Jan 2020

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) declares this a global public-health emergency.
  • There is no indication that the UK will be affected. People are relaxed and the Government confirms the risk is low.

Fri 31 Jan 2020

  • President Trump bans foreign nationals from entering the US if they were in China within the prior two weeks.

February 2020

Sat 1 Feb 2020

  • Spain confirms its first case.

Sun 2 Feb 2020

  • 1st death is recorded outside of China in Philippines. The deceased is a 44-year-old man.

Tue 4 Feb 2020

  • UK directs its citizens to leave China if possible.

Wed 5 Feb 2020

  • A cruise ship in Japan quarantines 3600 people after a two-week trip to Southeast Asia. 218 people on the ship test positive.

Thu 6 Feb 2020

  • Britain’s third patient tests positive, having contracted the virus at a conference in Singapore. The 53-year-old so-called ‘super spreader’ is later linked with 11 other cases, five of which are in the UK.

Fri 7 Feb 2020

  • The Chinese doctor Dr Li Wenliang, who tried to ring early alarms that a cluster of infections could spin out of control, dies after contracting the virus. He was forced to sign a statement denouncing his warning as an unfounded and illegal rumour.

Sun 9 Feb 2020

  • 811 deaths are recorded in China, exceeding the deaths of the 2002-03 Sars epidemic.
  • Concerns starting to rise globally. However, there is no sense of panic in the UK.

Tue 11 Feb 2020

  • The WHO announces that the pandemic will be called Covid-19, an acronym that stands for Coronavirus disease 2019.
  • 1113 people in China have died with 44,653 cases. There are 393 cases outside of China.

Fri 14 Feb 2020

  • France announces the first Covid-10 death in Europe, an 80-year-old Chinese tourist.
  • Egypt confirms its first case, the first on the African continent.

Wed 19 Feb 2020

  • Iran outbreak begins.

Fri 21 Feb 2020

  • Italy outbreak begins.

Sun 23 Feb 2020

  • Italy sees a major surge in coronavirus cases, up to 150. Some regions are placed in lockdown.

Wed 26 Feb 2020

  • Shaykh Nizam Yaqubi visits us from London as he is unable to return to Bahrain in his booked Emirates Airlines, because the UAE has stopped flights to Bahrain. There is concern that the virus has entered Bahrain from Iran.
  • Shaykh Nizam is of the view that the virus developed in a laboratory.
  • Generally, people remain relaxed in the UK although more attention is being paid to this crisis since the outbreak in Italy.

Thu 27 Feb 2020

  • Shaykh Yūsuf Ḥajāt contacts me from al-Masjid al-Aqsa, he is travelling for ʿUmrah via Istanbul. He enquires about Iḥrām as there are rumours that they may not be allowed to enter Saudi Arabia for ʿ I advise him not to enter the state of Iḥrām until after he enters Saudi Arabia. A Fatwa is also issued on our website in relation to this. He successfully arrives and performs ʿUmrah.

Fri 28 Feb 2020

  • The first British victim dies of Covid-19 onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
  • UK authorities confirm the first case of the illness to be passed on inside the country.
  • This is the worst week for the global stock markets since the 2008 financial crash.
  • The WHO raises the Covid-19 alert to the highest level.

March 2020

Tue 3 Mar 2020

  • There is a sharp rise in the number of cases in Spain.
  • Concerns are raised about the number of cases in several European countries.
  • People in the UK are now starting to worry.

Wed 4 Mar 2020

  • Cases surge in the UK, with the biggest one-day increase of 34 bringing the total to 87.
  • Italy announces it is shutting schools and universities.
  • Ten questions are received regarding the virus. We address these on our website. At this stage, there are no deaths in the UK and there is no panic. The answers should be read in this context.

Thu 5 Mar 2020

  • A woman in her 70s becomes the first person to die in the UK after testing positive.
  • The total number of confirmed cases in the UK exceeds 100.

Fri 6 Mar 2020

  • Saudi Arabia has stopped visitors for ʿ Those already in the blessed city of Makkah are initially allowed to perform ʿUmrah, then stopped. Ṭawāf is now possible with normal clothes, not Iḥrām. The Masʿā is closed.
  • As this is implemented without notice, some people performed Ṭawāf only. Some did not perform either. The various scenarios are addressed in an answer published on our website.

Sun 8 Mar 2020

  • Full lockdown announced in Italy.

Tue 10 Mar 2020

  • Nadine Dorries, a junior health minister, becomes the first UK MP to test positive.
  • Six people in the UK have now died, with 373 testing positive.

Wed 11 Mar 2020

  • The WHO officially declares a Pandemic.
  • President Trump announces a travel ban from all European countries except UK.

Thu 12 Mar 2020

  • The UK Government announces it is moving from “contain” phase to “delay phase”. In other words, it is no longer possible to contain the virus in the UK. The other two strands of the Government’s strategy are: “research” and “mitigate”.
  • We issue guidance online to Masjids that Jumuʿah Salah should continue, however, with the necessary precautions. Some practical precautions are suggested.

Fri 13 Mar 2020

  • Sporting events in the UK are postponed with some fixtures suspended.
  • Panic buying begins in the UK.
  • A lot of confusion exists regarding the bathing of the Covid-19 bodies and whether it poses any risks. Medical opinion appears to be divided. We issue guidance encouraging Ghusl with a simplified process whilst taking the necessary precautions.

Sat 14 Mar 2020

  • President Trump announces a travel ban on the UK and Ireland, similar to his ban on the rest of Europe.

Sun 15 Mar 2020

  • We issue guidance online in relation to the permissibility of wearing a mask in Ṣalāh based on need, using hand sanitisers containing alcohol and burying more than one person in a grave.

Mon 16 Mar 2020

  • The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson begins daily press briefings, urging everybody in the UK to work from home and avoid pubs and restaurants.
  • The UK’s death toll rises to 55, with 1,543 confirmed cases, though it is suggested 10,000 people have already been infected.
  • Reports are coming from London and Birmingham of Muslims affected.
  • We issue guidance on how a female will be bathed and buried if the immediate family members are in isolation. We also release an article focusing on the need to reflect within ourselves and stop committing sins.

Tue 17 Mar 2020

  • The UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance warns as many as 55,000 people in the UK may now be infected and says it would be a “good outcome” if the eventual death toll could be kept below 20,000.
  • Full lockdown announced across France.
  • There is ongoing speculation regarding the closure of schools in the UK.
  • Mawlānā Rafīq and I meet with Blackburn with Darwen Council officers and Public Health representatives on behalf of Lancashire Council of Mosques. We agree to keep mosques open and adopt precautionary measures. At this stage, it is not deemed necessary to close the mosques.
  • We issue a Fatwa advising mosques to adopt precautionary measures and avoid mosque closures. To date, there is not a single Covid-19 confirmed case in Blackburn. Later, one is announced.
  • We issue further guidance is issued in relation to handling of Covid-19 bodies. The Government has now moved from the “contain” phase to the “delay” phase and as a result removed the requirement of a body bag. However, many NHS Trusts are insisting on using a body bag. Some practical tips are suggested to manage the risk and streamline burial services in each town.
  • Several Muslim burial committees from Bolton, Nuneaton, Birmingham and other areas have begun to contact us for advice. In some areas, people especially females are reluctant to handle the bodies. Generally, elder people undertake this task and they are at higher risk. Our advice to burial committees is to arrange Ghusl in so far as possible, however, ensure all volunteers do so out of their own will and choice.

Wed 18 Mar 2020

  • My cousin Dr Ismail Ughratdar, a senior neurosurgeon, contacts me urging to re-consider our position on mosques closure because cases are surging in Birmingham and congregations must be stopped. He explains that the Government is not disclosing the true scale of the crisis and that hospitals are overwhelmed and they are having to make difficult decisions.
  • Later in the evening, the Government announces that most schools across England will close after Friday.

Thu 19 Mar 2020

  • An ʿUlamāʾ meeting is arranged at Darul Uloom Blackburn which is attended by Blackburn’s Public Health Director, Dominic Harrison, who advises that congregations in mosques must stop. No consensus is reached regarding the closure of mosques. It is agreed to call the senior Muftis of the country on Saturday to arrive at a decision.
  • Lancashire Council of Mosques calls an emergency meeting of mosques in the evening and unilaterally announces that mosques should close before the meeting. This is not received well in the meeting by most mosque representatives and mosques in Blackburn remain open.
  • Preston Masjids announce that Masjids will only remain open for a few select individuals.

Fri 20 Mar 2020

  • Jumuʿah Ṣalāh occurs in the Masjids of Blackburn as usual.
  • We issue a Fatwa that the decision of Masjids that are limiting its numbers to a select few individuals should be respected because the situation is changing and advice from Public Health is to avoid any congregation.
  • The Government orders all pubs, restaurants, gyms and other social venues across the country to close.
  • The Chancellor announces the government will pay up to 80% of wages for workers at risk of being laid off.

Sat 21 Mar 2020

  • In the UK, more than 230 people have died after contracting the virus, with infection cases surpassing 4,000. Worldwide, the number stands at more than 270,000 cases and 11,000 deaths.
  • The meeting of senior Mufti and scholars from across the UK convenes at Darul Uloom Blackburn. It is rare to see such a meeting, however, the urgency of the situation brought everyone together from across the country at such short notice. My respected father Mufti Shabbīr Aḥmad requests everyone to perform two Rakʿat Ṣalāt al-Ḥājah prior to the meeting.
  • The meeting begins after Ẓuhr Ṣalāh and concludes later in the evening before ʿIshāʾ Ṣalāh. The first part of the meeting is attended by public health and other medical experts. A unanimous decision is reached after extensive discussions to permit limiting Masjid congregations to four or five people. Mosques should not close totally unless the Government instructs.
  • We issue further advice in relation to handling dead bodies. If Ghusl is not possible, then Tayammum should be undertaken directly on the body. Otherwise, the body is to be buried without Ghusl or Tayammum.

Mon 23 Mar 2020

  • The UK Government announces lockdown measures – people should only go outside to buy food, to exercise once a day, or to go to work if they absolutely cannot work from home. Police will issue fines. Religious places are also to close.
  • The worldwide figures stand at more than 270,000 cases and 11,000 deaths.

Wed 25 Mar 2020

  • India announces a three-week lockdown.
  • Prince Charles tests positive.

Thu 26 March 2020

  • Our local Masjid Imam Mawlānā Yūsuf Lorgat requests me to deliver a speech via the receiver system to advise people on how to perform Ṣalāh and other essential guidance regarding the lockdown.
  • I perform Maghrib Ṣalāh with him. It feels strange. Never imagined a day like this would ever come.

Fri 27 Mar 2020

  • UK PM Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock test positive.
  • Today, all Masjids in the UK are closed for Jumuʿah Ṣalāh except for key workers who are performing Jumuʿah Ṣalāh and the five Salah and fulfilling other essential duties.
  • Yesterday, we issued guidance advising people to perform Ẓuhr Ṣalāh in congregation at home emphasising that it is not makrūh. We also advised that if people wish to perform Jumuʿah Ṣalāh and there are four mature adults present, this is valid.
  • We perform Jumuʿah Ṣalāh with my father at my brother’s residence.

Sun 29 Mar 2020

  • Amged El-Hawrani, a 55-year-old consultant, is the first frontline NHS hospital worker to die after testing positive. He died in hospital yesterday.
  • A clip is circulating from Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUsmānī that if Ghusl is not possible and the body is in a body bag, then Masaḥ (wiping) will be done over the entire body bag. I message Mufti Sahib seeking clarification for this and share with him our stance. Mufti Ṣāḥib replies.

Mon 30 Mar 2020

  • UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announces that the government is to spend £75 million on charter flights and airline tickets to repatriate up to 300,000 Britons stranded abroad.
  • The vast majority of flights in and out of the UK are cancelled.

April 2020

Wed 1 Apr 2020

  • Yesterday, the Government issued guidance in relation to handling Covid-19 bodies and confirmed that the risk is low if the appropriate PPE is worn.
  • We issue further guidance in relation to handling dead bodies and encourage Ghusl. If Ghusl is not possible due to a valid reason such as PPE not being available, then Tayammum should be undertaken if possible. If Ghusl and Tayammum are not possible, we advise the body to be buried without either and avoid any form of Tayammum, Masaḥ or pouring water over the body bag. Several senior Muftis of India concur with this including Mufti Aḥmad Khānpūrī and the Muftis of Saharanpur and Deoband. Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUsmānī Ṣāḥib has not responded yet as he is extremely busy.

Thu 2 Apr 2020

  • More than a million people are affected with Covid-19.
  • We issue guidance on performing Nikāḥ during lockdown and the various methods to fulfil the criteria of two witnesses in one gathering.

Fri 3 Apr 2020

  • The new Nightingale field hospital at the ExCeL in East London is opened by the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock. Our colleague Shaykh Yūnus Dūdhwālā is present as the Chaplain.
  • We perform Jumuʿah Ṣalāh with my father at my brother’s residence.

Mon 6 Apr 2020

  • UK PM Boris Johnson is admitted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after being admitted to hospital yesterday.
  • We issue guidance on Fasting in Ramadan for Covid-19 doctors and nurses which is endorsed by some of the leading Muftis of the UK and several Muslim doctors and hospital chaplains. The guidance is well received and adopted by many NHS Trusts across the country. It is also translated into other languages.

Tue 7 Apr 2020

  • WhatsApp announces limits to its forwarding service in order to combat disinformation. The application has been a hotbed for the spread of fake news.
  • Many conspiracies are spreading leading some people to deny the gravity of the crisis. Only Allah knows best whether this was engineered by man or whether it was an accident. However, it cannot be denied that people are dying in large numbers including many Muslims.
  • The airline industry cuts 90% of its flights in Europe.

Thu 9 Apr 2020

  • The UK records its highest daily hospital death toll at 938 deaths. This, however, does not include deaths at homes, care homes and in other settings.
  • Saudi Arabia places its capital Riyadh and other big cities, including the blessed cities of Makkah and Madīnah, under a 24-hour curfew.

Fri 10 Apr 2020

  • The global death toll exceeds 100,000.
  • We perform Jumuʿah Ṣalāh with my father at my brother’s residence. Shaykh Muḥammad of UWT is also present and after Ṣalāh, my brother and him and some others deliver water bottles, cereal bars and other items to Royal Blackburn Hospital.
  • UWT is supporting hospitals, health centres, burial organisations, Masjids with necessary equipment. The charity is planning to launch a 10 million pounds appeal to support families and organisations across the world affected by the pandemic. Many other local and national Muslim charities are doing some excellent work.
  • Non-Muslims are appreciating the contribution of Muslims both in the medical sector and via the charity sector.
  • Support for NHS workers is overwhelming, visas have been extended for free for a year and the anti-immigration rhetoric of the current Government is under spotlight.

Mon 13 Apr 2020

  • Mufti Rizwe Mohammed, the President of All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama in Sri Lanka contacted us a few days ago regarding their government insisting on cremations for Covid-19 bodies. Al-Jazeera and others also reported this. Today, I send an alert requesting people to apply pressure on the Sri Lankan embassy in the UK and elsewhere.
  • There is no evidence that cremations stop the spread of the virus. This has been confirmed by the WHO.

Tue 14 Apr 2020

  • PM Boris Johnson is discharged from hospital in London.
  • Scholars from various schools of thought meet in Karachi and agree that Masjids should not have a limit of 4-5 people and open with appropriate social distancing measures. Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUsmānī leads the press conference. This decision is under media spotlight. The final decision is to be taken by the Government of Pakistan after a few days.
  • I visit my local Masjid Sajedeen to deliver some advice via the receiver system.
  • My very dear friend Qari Shuaib Nurgat, Imam of Masjid Umar Walthamstow London phones me. There is weakness in his voice. He informs me that he is now much better. However, for two weeks he was under immense pain due to developing this virus. He informs that he has never experienced like this in his life. He thought he was going to die and made his final bequest. He struggled to eat and drink. He informs me that he opposed limiting numbers in mosques until the unanimous decision of scholars despite many mosques closing in London. However, he now understands the unique nature and the gravity of this pandemic and appreciates the importance of limiting people congregating. I request him to write about his experience not only to share what he experienced, but also to reassure and provide hope to those who are affected.

Wed 15 Apr 2020

  • Covid-19 infections exceed 2 million globally.
  • We issue guidelines for Ramadan and Eid endorsed by some of the leading scholars of the UK. The guidelines cover a range of areas including Fasting, Tarāwīḥ Ṣalāh, Zakāt and Ṣadaqat al-Fiṭr.
  • Today, we start the reading of Musnad Aḥmad under my respected father Mufti Shabbīr Aḥmad. We begin at Darul Uloom Blackburn and the scheduled time is 2-4pm. People join from around the world via Zoom.

Thu 16 Apr 2020

  • Yesterday, I had a headache, this has continued today. I also have diarrhoea. I decide to self-isolate although I do not have a temperature or a cough. My parents live next door and our back is open. We close it for their safety. It feels strange.
  • I partake in the Musnad Ahmad lesson from home via Zoom and intend to continue from here.

Fri 17 Apr 2020

  • Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUsmānī phones me regarding the possibility of supporting the Burmese refugees in Bangladesh as he is being contacted from there and they are in dire need. I ask Shaykh Muḥammad of UWT to phone him to discuss further.

Sat 18 Apr 2020

  • The Pakistani Government agrees with the recommendation of the scholars in light of the WHO guidelines that permit religious gatherings with social distancing measures. The WHO releases guidance entitled: “Safe Ramadan practices in the context of Covid-19”. The scholars feel vindicated after four days of criticism and negative spotlight.
  • The infection and death rates in Pakistan are relatively low, although some question the accuracy of the data.

Tue 21 Apr 2020

  • We end our isolation. It appears, al-Ḥamdulillāh, after speaking to Dr Riyad that it was not Covid-19.

Wed 22 Apr 2020

  • Very sad day. Two Imams of Masjid al-Mumineen, Blackburn pass away: Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Razzāq and Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Majīd, both of Indian Kokan origin. Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Majīd was softly spoken and would generally remain silent. Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Razzāq came to the UK many years ago and would regularly consult with my father. His early years in the UK were spent with many difficulties and hardships. This Masjid is very near our home. I offer my condolences to Ḥāfiẓ Zakariyyā, Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Razzaq’s son.
  • Several Muslim doctors and nurses have died over the past few weeks.

Thu 23 Apr 2020

  • My father and I attend the burial of Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Razzāq at the request of his son Ḥāfiz Zakariyyā. The Janāzah Ṣalāh takes place near the grave with people stood apart due to social distancing measures. The Ṣalāh does not take place in the normal prayer area at Blackburn cemetery. Ḥāfiẓ Zakariyyā leads the Ṣalāh.
  • Today, the Government relaxed restrictions on graveyards. As a result, there are many visitors. Many extended family members were unable to partake in the burials of their loved ones. Until today, the cemeteries were closed except for burials and only ten people were allowed.
  • The UK begins testing a vaccine on humans in Oxford.
  • Saudi Arabia announces the start of Ramadan 1441. Another fiasco as the month of Shaʿbān apparently started a day late. It was supposed to be 30th Shaʿbān today. However, it is 29th Shaʿbān according to the revised calendar. A similar fiasco occurred in the previous two years.
  • I lead Tarāwīḥ Ṣalāh at home with our family intending to complete on 29 Ramadan.
  • Tarāwīḥ Ṣalāh in Ḥaramayn is reduced to 10 Rakʿ Whilst this in accordance with the position of those scholars who regard the number of Rakʿats of Tarāwīḥ not being fixed, there is no material need to reduce the number of Rakʿats. The number of attendees is already limited with social distancing, so whether 10 or 20 Rakʿats are performed make little difference.

Fri 24 Apr 2020

  • We issue guidance on Covid-19 tests not breaking fasts. Many hours are spent on examining what is the ḥalq (throat) from a jurisprudential perspective. May Allah reward Dr Riyad Kallingal for his support.
  • Some scholars have misunderstood a Ḥadīth and suggest that the pandemic will end on 12 May. This has become viral. A detailed explanation of the Ḥadīth is published online on our website. Caution must be exercised before making such claims, as this can lead to people doubting Ḥadīths.
  • I visit my local Masjid, perform ʿAṣr Ṣalāh in congregation and deliver a short talk thereafter via the receiver and online broadcast system. I am scheduled to do similar on Sunday 26 April and thereafter every Monday and Tuesday in the month of Ramadan. The theme is Fiqh, Q&A and if time permits commentary of Ḥadīths from Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī on fasting.
  • I am grateful to Allah Almighty for enabling me to access the Masjid.

Sat 25 Apr 2020

  • Covid-19 deaths reach 200,000 globally.
  • I deliver a session on Zoom and Mixlr from home for Salam Youth Academy, London, focusing on the Fiqh of Ramadan.

Tue 28 Apr 2020

  • Mawlānā Aslam Maẓāhirī of Darul Uloom Rampur, India contacts me. 136 of the 700 students are stranded in the seminary and their funds have finished. I share the details with Shaykh Muḥammad of UWT who agrees to support them with food aid.
  • Seminaries in India are struggling particularly those without global contacts. The lockdown in India is strict and was imposed overnight. Students and workers were unable to return home.

Thu 30 Apr 2020

  • UK PM Boris Johnson claims that the UK has passed the peak of the pandemic.
  • A High Court in South Africa has dismissed an application to have mosques reopened. Many Muslim organisations including the Jamiat opposed the application.

May 2020

Fri 1 May 2020

  • Our street neighbour and close family friend Ḥājī Ibrāhīm Bhai of Rander passes away in the early hours of the morning and leaves behind two sons Mawlānā Osmān and Mawlānā Hāshim. A man of impeccable character and principle. He served his disabled wife for many years until her demise a few years ago. Did not marry whilst she was alive nor after. He had Parkinson diseases since a few years. There is no suggestion he passed away due to Covid-19. He never spoke ill of anyone. He was very close to our family and my father. As young children, we would travel with him and my father more or less on a daily basis for shopping.
  • His Ghusl takes place at Masjid Sajedeen at 2pm. Janāzah Ṣalāh is at 5pm at the graveyard. Only 15 people are allowed. A few of us perform Janāzah Ṣalāh at the Masjid mortuary after the Ghusl. The guardians perform the Ṣalāh later at the cemetery.
  • Reports coming from India that Ahmedabad’s police prevented an ambulance of Jamiat Ulema Hind from taking a two-year-old patient to hospital.
  • Kuwait, UAE and some other Middle Eastern countries are taking to task Indians in their countries who are spreading hate against Islam and Muslims. This is having a positive effect.

Sat 2 May 2020

  • I deliver a lecture for Sri Lankan Muslim Cultural Centre (SLMCC), Harrow via YouTube at 8pm focusing on Tawbah and the story of al-Kifl transmitted in Sunan al-Tirmidhī. This is my first public live video broadcast.
  • “Eurostar said fines may be imposed in France and Belgium for anyone without a face covering” reported the BBC today. I tweet this to the French Embassy in the UK adding, “Can the Niqāb be used to cover the face?” referring to the Niqāb ban in France and several other European countries.

Sun 3 May 2020

  • I start to write this diary. So much has happened over the past two months. May Allah reward Dr Riyad Kallingal for encouraging me to start writing a diary. I have also requested him to start writing.
  • Today’s official data shows the total number of Covid-19 deaths to date in the UK is 28,446. The death and infection rates are starting to reduce.
  • In Musnad Ahmad, we reach Hadith number 2489. The reading time in Ramadan is 2.30pm – 4pm. Two of us read, I read the second 45 minutes.
  • The lockdown continues. There are rumours in the media that at some point this month, some restrictions will be lifted.
  • A leaked 15-page dossier from the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand intelligence agencies claims that China lied about human-to-human transmission, disappeared whistle-blowers and refused to help other countries prepare a vaccine for the virus. It also alleges that the virus was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and not the wet market.

Mon 4 May 2020

  • Yesterday, the Guardian reported the “Happy Hypoxia” mystery which has baffled doctors. Covid-19 patients who are talking and apparently not in distress, despite having low oxygen levels that would typically cause unconsciousness or even death. This affirms what I have been thinking over the past few weeks that no one knows the reality of this virus, not even the doctors.
  • Lowest number of deaths since 29 March reported today in the UK: 288 deaths bringing the total to 28734. Total confirmed cases are 190,584.

Tue 5 May 2020

  • Deaths exceed 250,000 globally.
  • Data from the Office for National Statistics suggests that UK deaths has exceeded 32,000, the highest in Europe. Some suggest that the death toll could be as high as 40,000.
  • Today, we release a Fatwa permitting widows to visit the Masjid complex to view their deceased husbands. It is psychologically very difficult; people are unable to visit hospitals and the last time they may have seen their loves ones could be several weeks ago.
  • Professor Neil Ferguson, the epidemiologist whose modelling helped shape Britain’s lockdown strategy, has quit as a government adviser after flouting the rules by receiving visits from his lover at his home.

Wed 6 May 2020

  • President Trump blames China and suggests that the outbreak had hit the US harder than the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour in World War Two, or the 9/11 attacks. US death toll has reached 70,000.
  • Shaykh Maḥfūẓ Aḥmad of London requested me to translate my article on Mawlānā from English to Arabic, which I complete today. (This was subsequently published in the collection of articles entitled ‘Al-Madkhal ilā Kitāb al-Hidāyah’).
  • A Fatwa has come today from Pakistan approved by Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUsmānī that doctors treating Covid-19 patients can trim the beard if there is no alternative available.
  • ʿAllāmah Khālid Maḥmūd fell down last night, admitted to hospital and operated on today. This is not Covid-19 related as far as I know.

Thu 7 May 2020

  • We upload a Fatwa online today regarding Adhān during lockdown. As my respected father suggests, it is not necessary to add any words to the Adhān or thereafter, as people are already aware that they need to perform Ṣalāh at home.
  • The Bank of England warns of the sharpest recession on record.
  • A study in China based on a small number of patients finds Covid-19 in semen of infected men, which may pose risk of sexual transmission.

Fri 8 May 2020

  • ʿAllāmah Khālid Maḥmūd is critical in hospital.

Sat 9 May 2020

  • The total death toll in the UK as of yesterday, according to the Government’s data, is 31587, with 346 deaths confirmed yesterday.
  • We issue guidance on Iʿtikāf for men in the homes, that whilst it is not Iʿtikāf from a Fiqh perspective, seclusion is recommended.
  • We issue guidance to businesses on employment and other queries.

Sun 10 May 2020

  • The much-anticipated speech of the PM Boris Johnson is criticised for confusion. The minor changes only apply to England.
  • The main changes are two: (1) From tomorrow, people who cannot work from home are being actively encouraged to go to work instead of being told to only go if they must. (2) From Wednesday, people are being encouraged to take unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise and even play sports, but only with members of their household. Visiting and sunbathing in local parks will also be allowed as will driving to other destinations.
  • A new Covid alert system is being established to monitor the threat posed by Covid-19. The UK is currently at level four of the five-tier system, just below the ‘most critical’ threat – the kind that would see the NHS swamped by Covid-19 cases.
  • Schools could open partially in June, and the hospitality sector in July.

Tue 12 May 2020

  • A total of 40,496 people in the UK have died from coronavirus as of 9 May, according to official figures from the Office of National Statistics, though data suggests there has been close to 51,000 excess deaths.

Thu 14 May 2020

  • The accomplished scholar, ʿAllāmah Khālid Maḥmūd passed away today. A great loss. Dedicated his life to the service of the faith and defending the Islamic creed. I was fortunate to spend many hours with him on a 1-1 basis since 2017. He was 97 years old when he passed away, and his memory was intact until the very end. May Allah grant him an abode in Jannah.
  • We issue guidance on Eid Ṣalāh, this understandably is an issue where there is mixed scholarly opinion.
  • The World Health Organisation says Covid-19 may never go away, like HIV.
  • The global death toll from Covid-19 has passed 300,000, with nearly 4.5 million people infected.
  • A quarter of Covid-19 patients who have died in hospitals in England had diabetes, according to figures released by NHS England.
  • In the UK, the death rate remains high and is not falling as quickly as expected.

Fri 15 May 2020

  • ʿAllamah Khālid Maḥmūd was buried today. One Janāzah Ṣalāh took place at City Jami Masjid, Manchester and the other at the cemetery. His obituary is available on the following link:
  • My son Muḥammad has completed his second Juz. Thanks to the closure of schools, he has thus far completed three Juz, with half of this memorised during the lockdown.

Sun 17 May 2020

  • Heated discussions are taking place regarding performing Eid Ṣalāh at home. Most Ḥanafī jurists of the UK, Canada, USA and South Africa are in favour and concur with our stance.
  • A further 170 people have died after contracting the virus, the lowest figure since the UK’s lockdown began. However, the numbers reported on Sundays and Mondays tend to be lower than other days because of hospital reporting delays.
  • India has extended a nearly two-month-old lockdown by another two weeks.
  • Madagascar has reported the first death of a patient suffering from Covid-19, nearly two months after the virus was first detected in the country.
  • A 19-year-old Lebanese Muslim female wearing a headscarf was shot today in Blackburn on King Street. A murder investigation is under way. There appears to be a feud between two Muslim businessmen.

Tue 19 May 2020

Thu 21 May 2020

  • The number of confirmed infections has passed five million globally.
  • The WHO gave a stark warning yesterday that the pandemic is far from over, after 106,000 new cases were recorded worldwide over the past 24 hours, the highest in a single day thus far.
  • In the UK, the daily update shows 36042 deaths to date. The actual figure is higher.
  • EasyJet is to resume a small number of flights in the UK and France on 15 June, with increased safety measures onboard including mandatory wearing of face masks.
  • People are having discussions about various possibilities and methods of performing Eid Ṣalāh in the homes, gardens and otherwise.

Fri 22 May 2020

  • We issue guidelines about performing Eid Ṣalāh in the gardens.
  • We perform Jumuʿah Ṣalāh in Chorlton Street, I deliver the Bayan. Mawlānā Shuʿayb of Masjid Anisul Islam leads the Salah. Everyone remains in their gardens or at their doorsteps. Mawlānā Ḥanīf Dūdhwālā coordinates. A good model is established. For the first time, some 60-70 households were able to perform Jumuʿah Ṣalāh since the lockdown begun. This is compliant with the law.

Sat 23 May 2020

  • Huge political uproar about Dominic Cumming’s 260 miles journey to Durham whilst he had symptoms. Apparently, it was for childcare issues. His parents live in Durham. Opposition parties are demanding his resignation.
  • Ramadan ends today. Saudi Arabia has completed 30 days.

Sun 24 May 2020

  • I lead Eid Ṣalāh on Chorlton Street. It is a spectacular scene. The Takbīr and Nashīds can be heard on our street in Little Harwood as well as Furness Avenue. Mawlānā Ḥanīf Dūdhwālā is the coordinator. He arranges for a special car as the pulpit, it was purchased by Sheraz Dunbhai of Preston only yesterday.
  • Some local Muslim Councillors are not happy. They are making an issue unnecessarily. Mawlānā Ḥanīf had run it past the police yesterday and the Council a few days ago.
  • I arrive late and some people are sat in the street. I express my concern to the organisers. However, it is too late to do anything. This is a grey area in so far as the law is concerned. However, social distancing is maintained which is the most important. This is somewhat similar to people clapping for the NHS workers.
  • Many people across the country act upon on our guidance to perform Eid Ṣalāh in congregation whilst staying in their own gardens. Some videos are received from Bolton.
  • After ʿAṣr Ṣalāh, we organise the reading of the Ḥadīth Musalsal bi Yawm al-Eid at Darul Uloom Blackburn with Mufti Shabbīr Aḥmad and Mufti ʿAbduṣṣamad. Some 500 people listen via Mixlr and Zoom. A treatise of Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar pertaining to congratulating on Eid day is also read.

Mon 25 May 2020

  • The uproar surrounding Dominic Cumming’s trip to Durham continues. He delivers a Press Conference in the Downing Street garden. However, calls for his resignation continue. The Prime Minister resists calls to sack him.
  • The Johns Hopkins University covid tracker has counted a total of 5,467,945 confirmed infections. The death toll stands at 344,731.
  • The UK PM says outdoor markets and car showrooms can reopen from 1 June.
  • In the UK, 36,914 people have died in all settings, including 121 more deaths announced today.

Tue 26 May 2020

  • According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, at least 348,541 people have died around the world, while at least 5,555,691 are known to have become infected globally since the pandemic began.
  • The number of excess deaths registered in the UK during the Covid-19 outbreak is almost 60,000.
  • Blackburn Police and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council issue a joint statement making indirect reference to the Eid Ṣalāh on Chorlton Street. I had led it and as far as I am concerned, I was informed that the Police and Council were informed about this and they had raised no objection to the Friday Jumuʿah Ṣalāh. Moreover, there are double standards. People exercising on the streets is commended. This is no different. The Lancashire Council of Mosques’ (LCM) stance in this regard and approach to handling the issue is extremely disappointing.

Wed 27 May 2020

  • Police visit me to discuss the Jumuʿah and Eid Salah. A very fruitful meeting takes place. Separately, Mawlānā Ḥanīf and his lawyer meet the police. It becomes clear that the police advice was wrong in relation to performing Ṣalāh on the footpath on the doorstep. Only if the Muslim Councillors and the LCM would seek clarification and ascertain the facts before issuing statements and making a mountain of the issue.

Thu 28 May 2020

  • Groups of up to six people from different households will be able to meet outside in England from Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces. They can meet in gardens, in addition to parks, as long as households keep two meters apart.
  • Global infections exceed 5.7 million.
  • Our evening ʿĀlim class teachers have a meeting to discuss virtual teaching for the next two months.
  • Further to a BBC article on the Eid issue, Mawlānā Ḥanīf issues a statement clarifying the basis of the decision and the confusion caused from police advice.

Fri 29 May 2020

  • The US president says he is terminating the nation’s relationship with the World Health Organization.
  • Dominic Cummings did not follow the spirit of the UK’s lockdown rules with his actions, the former prime minister Theresa May says.
  • Worshippers in Turkey hold their first communal Friday prayers in 74 days as the government reopens some mosques. Prayers are held in the courtyards of selected mosques to minimise the risk of infection. Authorities distribute masks at the entrance to the mosques, spray hand sanitisers, and check temperatures.
  • A former Chair of LCM issues an exaggerated statement against the Eid organisers. Like the Council, he does not attempt to contact the organiser and ascertain the facts. This is a significant oversight.

Sun 31 May 2020

  • Governors, mayors and public health officials across the US are warning about a potential spike in Covid-19 infections resulting from the escalating protests over the death of the black citizen George Floyd at the hands of police.
  • Protests against police brutality have spread across the US overnight and into Saturday morning.
  • Senior public health officials have made a last-minute plea for ministers to stop Monday’s easing of the lockdown in England, warning the country is unprepared to deal with any surge in infection. They believe the new rules, including allowing groups of up to six people to meet outdoors and in private gardens are ‘not supported by the science’.
  • The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has extended lockdown until 30 June in a number of zones identified as ‘high-risk’ by individual states, while the rest of India prepares to reopen.
  • Haji Mubarak Seth, aged 49, passed away earlier today in Blackburn. The death was not due to Covid-19. A very humble and generous person. Always supported charitable causes. May Allah Almighty grant him an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws and grant Ṣabr Jamīl to his family and associates.

June 2020

Mon 1 June 2020

  • Lockdown has eased today. However, since Eid, it has felt like there is no lockdown.
  • Our evening ʿĀlim class lessons resume today via Zoom and Google Classroom.
  • The Musnad Aḥmad recital is rescheduled today from 8.30pm – 9.30pm.

Tue 2 June 2020

  • According to researchers from Johns Hopkins University, at least 6,339,005 people are known to have been infected, while at least 378,266 are known to have died since the outbreak began.
  • The UK’s official death toll passes 50,000, as the Office for National Statistics releases its latest figures. The total differs from the government’s daily counts, which only include deaths in hospitals and care homes where the person had tested positive.
  • A Public Health England review confirms that people from BAME backgrounds are more likely to die from Covid-19.

Thu 4 June 2020

  • Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Haroon Abaasoomar of South Africa passed away yesterday. A very simple and down to earth person. Was extremely intelligent. Would attain first rank in Binori Town, Karachi. Was a few years ahead of my father. Visited our home a few years ago. Thereafter, he would phone me. I recall in 2018 him phoning me requesting Duʿāʾs from Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī Ṣāḥib as he was undergoing treatment in China if I recall correctly. A very jolly person. May Allah grant him Jannat al-Firdaws. He did not pass away from Covid-19 as the test confirmed, although this was written on the death certificate to speed the process up. He was born in 1952.
  • My respected father Mufti Shabbīr Aḥmad said: “Mawlānā Haroon Ṣāḥib was a very learned person. His demise is a great loss particularly for South Africa. When I was studying in Binori Town, Mawlānā was in the final year and he came first nationally in the Wifaqul Ulama board examinations. I met him last year in Saudi Arabia and he was suffering from kidney problems. Prior to this, he visited my house several years ago. He had ijāzah in taṣawwuf from Ḥakīm Akhtar Ṣāḥib and also from our respected Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī. May Allah Almighty grant him Jannat al-Firdaws. His son Mawlana Muḥammad is also a learned scholar. May Allah Almighty grant him tawfīq to spread the knowledge of his father.”
  • Today, the UK Government announces that from 15 June, face coverings will be mandatory on public transport. Otherwise, fines will be issued.
  • We issue advice for NGOs on managing Qurbani orders and fulfilling the expectations of donors and the Islamic requirements.

Fri 5 June 2020

  • People over 60 or with health issues should wear a medical-grade mask when they are out and cannot physically distance, according to new guidance from the World Health Organization, while all others should wear a three-layer fabric mask. It comes after the UK government said on Thursday it would be mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport from 15 June, but these coverings can be T-shirts or scarves.

Sat 6 June 2020

  • Anti-racism protests continue across the world. Some violence in London is reported.

Sun 7 June 2020

  • I spent several hours today mediating in a business dispute. Mediation is often difficult but hugely rewarding.
  • We issue a collection of 10 common Q&As on the re-opening of Masjids.
  • It is being suggested that on Monday 15 June, solitary worship will be permitted in Masjids. The Government is set to announce this on Tuesday 9 June 2020. Muslim organisations and scholars have mixed views in this regard. Our view is that this is the first stage in the gradual process of re-opening and therefore Masjids should be opened to the public with adequate safeguards albeit for solitary worship. Just because congregational Ṣalāh cannot take place in the normal manner, this does not mean the people should be prevented from accessing the Masjids.

Mon 8 June 2020

  • UK daily deaths drop to pre-lockdown level. However, as it is Monday, caution is required as figures from the weekend are often delayed. Nevertheless, there is improvement. No Covid-19 deaths are recorded in Scotland or London in the last 24 hours.
  • The UK’s new quarantine rules have come into effect from today, with anyone arriving from abroad requiring to stay indoors for 14 days with some exceptions. Airlines are challenging this.
  • New Zealand declares it has no remaining Covid-19 cases.
  • Ḥāfiẓ Ṣagīr Aḥmad Raḥimahullāh has passed away in Pakistan. He was a disciple of Shaykh Muḥammad Zakariyyā Kāndhelwī. In 1979/1980, he financed the 1st Ḥajj of Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī, who passed away three years ago on 16/17 Shawwāl. May Allah grant Ḥāfiẓ Ṣagīr Jannat al-Firdaws. Āmīn.

Tue 9 June 2020

  • We issue a national Fatwa to open Masjids on 15 June, endorsed by leading Muftis.

Wed 10 June 2020

  • Wifaqul Ulama advises Masjids not to open. This was decided in good faith to apply pressure on the Government to permit congregational worship or individual worship in sync. However, there is a huge backlash, and I had pre-warned them. The Government could not care less about what Muslims think. This is a reality.
  • Following our Fatwa, Batley and Preston Masjids are reversing their decisions and planning to open.

Thu 11 June 2020

  • Masjids can now open from Saturday 13 June.
  • The much-awaited Government guidance is released at midnight. It confirms that no congregational Salah can take place, not even for key workers. It also makes no mention of some of the myths based on which some organisations based their judgement.

Sat 13 June 2020

  • Some Masjids across the UK open. Most are opening tomorrow and Monday.
  • Police impose restrictions ahead of anti-racism protests in London. They must end by 5pm.
  • Today is the first day in months that many people who live alone can spend time with loved ones as new ‘social bubble’ rules come into force in England and Northern Ireland. Adults who live alone are allowed to visit one other household and are even allowed to stay overnight. In England, the same applies to single parents of under-18s.
  • Over 7.6 million cases have been reported worldwide, along with 425,000 deaths, according to data collated by Johns Hopkins University.
  • New Zealand has reported no new infections for 22 consecutive days.
  • Modelling carried out for Channel Four Dispatches programme suggests that a lockdown on 12 March could have saved 13,000 lives, while one on 16 March might have saved 8,000 lives.

Mon 15 June 2020

  • Hajj appears to be cancelled for most countries including the UK.
  • Thousands flock to non-essential shops in England as they open for first time in almost three months.
  • Globally, there are now 7.9 million confirmed cases since the outbreak began and 433,000 deaths
  • A further 38 people die with Covid-19 in UK.
  • The vast majority of the Masjids in England across the large cities are open or scheduled to open in the next 2-3 days: Blackburn, Bolton, Preston, Batley, Dewsbury, Wakefield, Sheffield, Coventry, Leicester, Gloucester and other towns and cities.

Tue 16 June 2020

  • Musa Bhai of Delhi has passed away. He was a Trustee in the Madrasah Abdul Mannan near the Airport. A very reliable and noble person. Was close to my father.
  • I agreed a few days ago to partake in a conference on Sufism later this month. Serious concerns are raised regarding the organiser and the conference is cancelled.

Thu 18 June 2020

  • A 13-day-old baby becomes one of UK’s youngest Covid-19 victims.
  • The UK is abandoning the development of its coronavirus-tracing app and shifting to a model based on technology provided by Apple and Google. The government now intends to launch an app in the autumn, after originally saying one would be ready for England – and possibly other parts of the UK – by 1 June.
  • The Bank of England is to inject an extra £100bn into the UK economy to help fight the coronavirus-induced downturn.
  • Social distancing of 1m is ‘safe and appropriate’ for children and young people at school, the Northern Ireland Executive has agreed.

Fri 19 June 2020

  • The UK has lowered its Covid-19 alert level from 4 to 3, meaning transmission of the virus is no longer judged to be “high or exponentially rising”, raising expectations that physical distancing restrictions could be cut.

Sun 21 June 2020

  • Mufti Muḥammad Naʿīm of Jamia Binoria International passed away yesterday from a heart condition. He was 62 years old. Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUthmānī led his Janāzah Ṣalāh today in Karachi, which was attended by thousands of people. He was credited for accommodating foreign students at a time when the Government placed restrictions on others.

Mon 22 June 2020

  • Saudi Arabia has announced that Hajj will only take place for those in the country, Saudis and non-Saudis. Residents from other countries will not be permitted.
  • People with underlying health issues who are most at risk from Covid-19 will no longer have to shut themselves away in their home and can mix with other people from 6 July in England.

Tue 23 June 2020

  • Mawlānā ʿAzīzurraḥmān, the disciple of Ḥaḍrat Shaykh Zakariyyā, passed away today in Pakistan.
  • The UK Prime Minister announces sweeping changes to England’s lockdown, as pubs, restaurants, cinemas and hairdressers will be able to reopen from 4 July, and the 2m social-distancing rule will be replaced with a ‘one-meter plus’ rule.

Wed 24 June 2020

  • A range of health organisations have coordinated together to say that the UK must be prepared for a second wave of the virus. Others dispute this.
  • The number of globally recorded cases of Covid-19 is now over 9.2 million. Over 477,000 people have died and over 4.6 million have now recovered. The UK has confirmed 307,682 cases and 43,011 mortalities.

Mon 29 June 2020

  • Leicester city is to face a local lockdown beyond 4 July.
  • There will be a return of full class sizes for primary and secondary schools in September in England, five days a week, the Education Secretary has confirmed.
  • Copies of Tadkhirat al-Aʿlām al-Sūd featuring the profile of 101 black Muslim personalities arrive today. Al-Ḥamdulillāh, the book has received widespread acceptance within a short period of time.

Tue 30 June 2020

  • The Government issues guidance for communal worship in places of worship that can begin on Saturday 4 July. We provide a summary of the key points on our website.
  • Generally, the uptake for individual worship in Masjids has been low. It appears that people have become accustomed to performing Salah at home. This may require some work.

July 2020

Thu 2 July 2020

  • Very sad to learn of the demise of 41-year-old Mawlānā Muṣṭafā Ḥaq Ṣāḥib of Leeds who graduated from Darul Uloom Bury in 2001. He was very gentle, kind hearted and friendly. Was affected by the virus two months ago and remained critically ill ever since.  May Allah Almighty grant him Jannat al-Firdaws. Āmīn.
  • The virus is spreading in India and Pakistan. The number of cases in India exceed 600,000.

Fri 3 July 2020

  • A full list of countries for which quarantine will not apply to people arriving back in England has been published. Countries including Greece, Spain, France and Belgium are on the list, which comes into effect from 10 July. But countries such as China, US, Sweden and Portugal are not, meaning arrivals from those have to isolate for 14 days.
  • Almost 30,000 more care home residents in England and Wales died during the outbreak than during the same period in 2019, ONS figures show. But only two-thirds were directly attributable to Covid-19.
  • Deaths from all causes in England and Wales have fallen to below the five-year average for the first time since before the outbreak took hold, as of the week ending 19 June.

Sat 4 July 2020

  • Masjids are open for congregational Ṣalāh with social distancing. Generally, Masjids are full for all the Ṣalāh. Multiple congregations will have to be organised for Friday Ṣalāh.
  • Yesterday, I tweeted: “As Masjids in England open for congregational Salah tomorrow: (1) Make a firm intention to always perform the 5 Ṣalāh in the Masjid and remain punctual on this. (2) Perform 2 Rakʿat Ṣalāt al-Shukr (gratitude). (3) Perform Taḥiyyat al-Masjid regularly. (4) Adopt the necessary precautions.”
  • According to the UK Government’s figures, thus far 44,220 people have died from those who tested positive. This does not necessarily mean that the primary cause of death was Covid-19.

Wed 8 July 2020

  • Met with solicitor Nasir Hafezi today for the first time at MWI. He is regarded as the national expert on Covid-19 regulations and legislation. We discuss many issues including broader challenges faced by Muslims in the UK.

Fri 10 July 2020

  • Masjids have now been open all week. Some Masjids are operating two-meter distancing, most are operating one-meter distancing. Different Masjids have different systems and criteria for entry. Generally, the turnout in Masjids for all five Ṣalāh is very good.
  • Today was the first time since Friday 20 March that Jumuʿah Ṣalāh took place for all the people. Most Masjids across the country organised multiple Jumuʿah Ṣalāh. We issued detailed advice in this regard. The turnout was very good in our local town and other towns. Leicester, however, remains under local lockdown where individual prayer is permitted.
  • The greatest news today, however, is from Turkey. Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia open to Muslim worship after a top court ruled that the building’s conversion to a museum by modern Turkey’s founding statesman in 1934 was illegal. Turkey’s top administrative court said in the ruling: “It was concluded that the settlement deed allocated it as a mosque and its use outside this character is not possible legally.”

Wed 15 July 2020

  • The reading of Musnad Abū Hurayrah in Musnad Aḥmad completed today.
  • A lot of media presence in Blackburn. This is because the infection rate is apparently rising in Blackburn. However, this is because of increased testing. There is speculation that there could be a local lockdown like Leicester at some point. It does not seem imminent though.
  • It is becoming increasingly clear that the Asian community is being unfairly targeted. Nevertheless, many Masjids have not made face masks compulsory.

Thu 16 July 2020

  • The lockdown in Leicester has been extended for two weeks. Some minor relaxations have been granted.
  • According to Government figures, there have been nearly 300,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK and more than 45,000 people have died.

Fri 17 July 2020

  • Since 31 December 2019 and as of 17 July 2020, 13,788300 cases of Covid-19 (in accordance with the applied case definitions and testing strategies in the affected countries) have been reported, including 589,688 deaths.
  • India’s Covid-19 cases surge past one million. There is a sense of increased fear and panic there.

Mon 20 July 2020

  • Very saddened to hear that Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Salmān Ṣāḥib, the teacher of teachers, the rector of the famous seminary Mazahirul Uloom Saharanpur and son in law of Shaykh Zakariyyā Kāndhelwī has passed away today. Our beloved Prophet ﷺ also passed away on a Monday. ‪This is a great loss for the Ummah. May Allah grant him Jannat al-Firdaws and Ṣabr to all family, associates and students. May Allah protect Mazahirul Uloom and all seminaries. It appears that he passed away from Covid-19. For this obituary, refer to the following link:

Thu 23 July 2020

  • Full guidance on wearing face coverings in shops in England has been released, less than 12 hours before the new rules come into force. Coverings will be mandatory in enclosed public spaces including supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, transport hubs, banks and post offices.
  • Most Masjids are open for congregational Salah. Some Masjids are over-reacting and acting disproportionately unnecessarily.

Fri 24 July 2020

  • From today, wearing face masks is necessary in England in shops. This is in addition to Public Transport.
  • Boris Johnson admits the government did not understand the virus during the ‘first few weeks and months’ of the UK outbreak. The PM told BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg there were ‘very open questions’ about whether the lockdown had started too late.

Sun 26 July 2020

  • Since yesterday, the UK Government has advised against all but essential travel to Spain and re-imposed the 14-day self-isolation for those returning from Spain.
  • This evening, we receive information that Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Maḥmūd Shabbīr Ṣāḥib, the son of Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Saʿīd Ṣāḥib and the Principal of the famous seminary, Jamia Husayniyyah Rander, Gujarat, India has passed away. May Allah forgive him and grant him an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws. He did not marry at all.
  • This is a year of sadness, many scholars have passed away especially in the sub-continent.

Thu 30 July 2020

  • The UK imposes local lockdown on a number of areas in the North including Blackburn. Households cannot visit each other in their homes. The announcement was made via Twitter in the evening. There is a lot of anger within the Muslim community because it is clearly targeted at Muslims.

Fri 31 July 2020

  • Today is Eid al-Adha for all Muslims across the UK. In South Africa, the majority are celebrating Eid tomorrow, however, a small minority is celebrating it today.
  • Apart from Leicester, Eid Ṣalāh has taken place throughout the country in Masjids, car parks, and other venues. This is in contrast with the previous Eid wherein the majority of people were unable to perform Eid Ṣalāh. Many venues had to organise multiple congregations due to social distancing.
  • Despite local restrictions, people are visiting each other’s homes. The Government’s approach is shambolic.
  • Hajj this year has been limited to 10,000 people, mainly Saudi citizens.
  • UK reverses decision to ease lockdown further on Saturday, postponing the reopening of casinos and bowling alleys for at least two weeks.

August 2020

Mon 3 Aug 2020

  • DW Sports, a gym and sports retailer, says it is going into administration, putting 1,700 jobs at risk.
  • One of the top stories in the UK this morning is on a new test for Covid-19 that can return results within 90 minutes.
  • The UK’s ‘Eat out to help out’ initiative begins, offering 50% off food in participating restaurants, up to the value of £10, every Monday-Wednesday in August in a bid to save the restaurant industry.

Wed 5 Aug 2020

  • Global deaths pass 700,000; more than 11 million people have recovered from the virus.
  • Virgin Atlantic becomes latest airline industry casualty, as it files for bankruptcy in the US.
  • Yesterday, a deadly blast occurred in Beirut. It shook the whole city, killed at least 113 people and injured more than 4,000 others. It was felt 240km (150 miles) away on the island of Cyprus. A two-week state of emergency has been declared. President Michel Aoun said the blast was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely in a warehouse. The explosion comes at a sensitive time for Lebanon. With Covid-19 infections on the rise, hospitals were already struggling to cope. Now, they are faced with thousands of injured people. The country is also going through the worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war, and tensions were already high with street demonstrations against the government.
  • France and Spain record the highest number of increases in cases since June.

Thu 6 Aug 2020

  • 50 million masks bought for the NHS by the Government will not be used due to safety concerns.

Sat 8 Aug 2020

  • Lockdown measures are re-introduced in Preston, similar to Blackburn.
  • India becomes the third country to reach 2 million cases.
  • Face coverings must now be worn in museums, cinemas and places of worship in England and Scotland.

Mon 10 Aug 2020

  • According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of Covid-19 deaths in the UK drops 99% since the peak of the pandemic.

Tue 11 Aug 2020

  • The number of employed people in the UK fell by 730,000 between March and July.

Wed 12 Aug 2020

  • The UK economy shrank by 20.4% between April and June, the biggest slump on record.
  • The UK death tolls drops by over 5000 as the Government changes the way deaths are counted.
  • New Zealand locks down Auckland after four new cases are found.

Thu 13 Aug 2020

  • An Imperial College London study suggests that 3.4 million people in England have had the virus, ten times higher than official figures.
  • UK announces France and the Netherlands will be added to two-week quarantine list from the 15th, causing chaos for holidaymakers.
  • Israel and UAE strike historic deal to normalise relations. Is this not the same UAE that hosted the so called ‘Peace’ conferences? The world waits for those who spearheaded these conferences to clarify their position on this ‘historic deal’.

Sat 15 Aug 2020

Mon 17 Aug 2020

  • A-Level and GCSE Students in England are given their Centre Assessed Grades after outcry over results given by algorithm which was designed to replace exams after school shutdowns.

Fri 21 Aug 2020

  • Latest data from Johns Hopkins University reveals that the global total of Covid-19 cases has surpassed 22.5 million, whilst deaths have increased to over 792,000.

Sun 30 Aug 2020

  • My respected father’s uncle, Ḥājī Kamāluddīn Patel passed away in India today after contracting Covid-19. He passed away in hospital at 6am and was buried in Jogvad at 11am. He was very punctual on his Ṣalāh. May Allah Almighty forgive him and grant him entry into Jannat al-Firdaws.
  • Our local Masjid Sajedeen has now stopped checking temperatures of each person and also permitted the use of show racks. The use of face masks and personal prayer mats remain in line with Government guidelines.
  • The Musnad Aḥmad reading has surpassed 15,000 Ḥadīths. From yesterday, readings are now only on the weekend.

Mon 31 Aug 2020

  • The US nears six million cases of Covid-19, nearly a quarter of the world’s total.
  • The UK government’s month-long Eat Out to Help Out scheme to boost restaurant trade ends tonight.
  • Global cases of the virus have surpassed 25 million with more than 846,000 deaths.

September 2020

Sat 5 Sep 2020

  • Schools started earlier in the week with precautions. Pupils remain in their classrooms for assemblies via a live Zoom broadcast.
  • The reading of Musnad Jābir in Musnad Aḥmad completed today.
  • Infections in India reach 4 million cases.

Mon 7 Sep 2020

  • Confirmed Covid-19 cases pass 27 million globally.

Wed 9 Sep 2020

  • Covid-19 cases are rising in the UK. New rules banning social gatherings of more than six people will come into force in England on Monday. This applies indoors and outdoors with a few limited exceptions. Places of worship are exempt along with schools.
  • The UK’s spending watchdog declares that the Covid-19 bill has cost the UK Government £210 billion.
  • Yesterday, our evening ʿĀlim class started.
  • Mawlānā Sufyān of Darul Uloom Deoband Waqf visits us today.

Thu 10 Sep 2020

  • Global Covid-19 deaths exceed 900,000.
  • UK medical experts have raised doubts over the Prime Minister’s plan to have ‘millions’ of Covid-19 tests processed each day.
  • India has a record jump in daily Covid-19 infections, with 95,735 new cases detected in a single day.

Mon 14 Sep 2020

  • We issue guidance advising Masjids to adopt 1-meter social distancing instead of 2-meter social distancing.

Wed 16 Sep 2020

  • India passes 5 million Covid-19 cases.

Thu 17 Sep 2020

  • The World Health Organisation warns about ‘alarming rates of transmission’ across Europe.

Fri 18 Sep 2020

  • Covid-19 cases hit 30 million worldwide.

Mon 21 Sep 2020

  • Pubs in England to shut at 10pm to halt rise in cases.
  • Fears over second UK lockdown wipe £50 billion off the FTSE 100.

Wed 23 Sep 2020

  • The Ḥadīth expert Shaykh Nūruddīn ʿIṭr passes away today. He authored and researched many beneficial publications.

Tue 29 Sep 2020

  • Global death toll passes one million.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologises for ‘misspeaking’ after accidentally contradicting government regulations in a press briefing.

Wed 30 Sep 2020

  • BBC Newsnight has found that Uighur people in the Middle East have been targeted by nations including Saudi Arabia, in apparent cooperation with China’s notorious crackdown on the ethnic minority.

October 2020

Thu 1 Oct 2020

  • Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Margaret Ferrier is suspended after she took a train from London to Scotland despite testing positive for Covid-19.

Fri 2 Oct 2020

  • US President Donald Trump and the first lady test positive.

Mon 5 Oct 2020

  • US President Donald Trump leaves hospital.

Thu 8 Oct 2020

  • The Ethiopian Ḥadīth expert, resident in Makkah al-Mukarramah, Shaykh Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn Adam passes away. He authored a 36 volume commentary of Sunan al-Nasāī and a 45 volume commentary on Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim among other works. May Allah accept his lifelong services and grant him an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws.

Sat 10 Oct 2020

  • Very saddened to learn that our beloved Dr Mawlānā ʿĀdil Khān, son of Shaykh Salīmullāh Khān was shot dead in Karachi. A great loss. A visionary leader who was very humble. A very good friend of my father. May Allah grant him entry into Jannat al-Firdaws and bring the perpetrators to justice. I met him last in Pakistan in 2019, as detailed in my travelogue on the following link:

Mon 12 Oct 2020

  • A new three-tier system for covid restrictions is announced, with many regions in the North of England immediately entering the higher tiers of restrictions.
  • Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm Chishtī has passed away today in Pakistan. A graduate of Deoband, he studied under Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī. He spent his life in the service of knowledge and teaching and authored several books. May Allah accept his service and grant him an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws.

Thu 15 Oct 2020

  • Al-Ḥamdulillāh, the 5th volume of Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī’s invaluable Arabic commentary on Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī has been published. It completes the chapters of Ḥajj, covers Buyūʿ and until the chapters of Shufʿ A must for anyone studying or teaching Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī.

Fri 16 Oct 2020

  • An 18-year-old man of Chechen origin beheads Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old teacher in France who had shown pupils cartoons of the Prophet in a civics lesson on freedom of speech.
  • France has not learnt its lesson. I wrote in an article ‘How can Coronavirus be stopped’ that insulting and defaming the Prophets is one of the causes of such pandemics.

Fri 23 Oct 2020

  • Shaykh Dr ʿAbdussattār Abū Guddah passes away in Canada. He is the nephew of Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ and author of several books. He sat on many international boards. I met him in February 2019 in the blessed city of Madinah. May Allah accept his lifelong efforts and grant him entry into Jannah.

Tue 27 Oct 2020

  • Jamia Zuberia in Peshawar, Pakistan is attacked with a blast.
  • The Saudi authorities announce that people should not wear iḥrām on their arrival to Jeddah, because they have to undergo a three-day quarantine on their arrival to Makkah. We issue advice in this regard.

Sat 31 Oct 2020

  • Confirmed Covid-19 cases pass 1 million in the UK.
  • A 4-week national lockdown is announced in England with non-essential retail shops closed and pubs and restaurants closed except for takeaways. Schools, universities and law courts will remain open.
  • US hits new world record of almost 90,000 new daily Covid-19 cases. The total passes 9 million cases.

November 2020

Sun 1 Nov 2020

  • Research suggests that President Trump’s rallies have led to 30,000 extra Covid-19 cases in America and 700 additional deaths.

Mon 2 Nov 2020

  • The global death toll passes 1.2 million.

Wed 4 Nov 2020

  • New national restrictions come into force tomorrow in England. There are mixed messages regarding whether Maktabs should remain open or not from tomorrow. The Regulations and Government Guidance permit this. Two Muslim solicitors (Naser Hafezi and Ibrahim Hasan) also confirm this.
  • The UK Government announces that all places of worship must close from 5 November 2020 for congregational worship and grants an exemption for individual worship, funerals and some essential services. We issue a Fatwa advising Masjids to remain open for individual worship.
  • The furlough scheme is extended in the UK until the end of March.

Sat 7 Nov 2020

  • Hospitals in Greater Manchester suspend non-urgent care.
  • I speak to our respected Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani earlier today. Mufti Ṣāḥib has not been feeling well for over a week. He requests everyone to remember him in their prayers. May Allah Almighty grant Mufti Ṣāḥib quick recovery and good health. Āmīn.

Sun 8 Nov 2020

  • Covid-19 infections pass 50 million globally.

Tue 10 Nov 2020

  • Mawlānā Farook Kazi’s (Preston) mother passes away.

Mon 16 Nov 2020

  • The mother of my dear colleague and relative Mawlānā Yahya Nadat of London passes away.
  • Yesterday, I wrote an answer which was not published online. It addresses the following question: “This question is in relation to your latest Fatwa dated 4 November 2020 which strongly recommends that Masjids should remain open for individual prayer, according to the Government regulations. My question is that in March the scholars decided to limit access to the Masjid except for a few people due to the rise in Covid-19 cases, and now that the Covid-19 cases are on the rise once again, should the same logic not apply? What is the difference between the two scenarios?” The answer outlines the distinction between now and March and concludes that the decision to limit access to the Masjid to a few people would have probably not been made in March if the social distancing and other precautionary measures were known at the time.

Tue 17 Nov 2020

  • UK records 598 deaths, the highest since 12th

Fri 20 Nov 2020

  • UK Health Minister, Matt Hancock, states that Pfizer vaccine could be rolled out from next month.

Tue 24 Nov 2020

  • UK announces plans that families can bubble in three-household groups from the 23rd-27th December for Christmas. Contrast this with the announcement one day before Eid!

Wed 25 Nov 2020

  • A senior Muslim leader of India’s Congress party, Ahmed Patel, dies of Covid-19.

Mon 30 Nov 2020

  • I tweet: “Places of Worship including Masjids can resume congregational worship in England from Wed (2 Dec) 12.01am. Therefore, Fajr Ṣalāh should be performed in congregation on Wed morning. Continue to adhere to the precautionary measures.”

December 2020

Thu 3 Dec 2020

  • The global Covid-19 death toll passes 1.5 million and UK death toll passes 60,000.
  • The European Medicines Agency criticises the UK’s decision to approve the Pfizer vaccine arguing that the UK has prioritised speed over public faith in the vaccine.
  • US President-elect Joe Biden states in his inauguration speech that he will ask Americans to wear face masks for his first 100 days in office.

Sat 5 Dec 2020

  • We issue religious advice on the Pfizer vaccine. Several media outlets pick this up including Newsweek.

Mon 7 Dec 2020

  • Saddened to hear of the demise of Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mufti Zarwalī Khān Ṣāḥib of Karachi. We met him last year at his Madrasah. He would lead Ṣalāh himself. He was very learned with excellent insight into books. May Allah Almighty accept his life-long service and grant him an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws.

Tue 8 Dec 2020

  • UK administers its first dose of the Pfizer vaccine outside of clinical trials.

Sat 19 Dec 2020

  • A new strain of Covid-19 is identified in South East England and early data suggests it could be 70% more transmissible.
  • The UK announces changes to planned relaxation of rules over Christmas with the relaxation period cut to just Christmas day. In addition, much of London and the South East is being moved to a new Tier 4, in which rules will not be relaxed over Christmas.
  • The total number of Covid-19 cases globally passes 75 million.

Tue 22 Dec 2020

  • Many countries including Turkey, Iran, France and Sweden impose travel restrictions on passengers from the UK to avoid the spread of the new strain of the virus.
  • Al-Ḥamdulillāh, copies of the translation of Birr al-Wālidayn (being dutiful to parents) by Imam Bukhārī have arrived. I was fortunate to write a brief commentary on the Ḥadīths therein. May Allah reward Turath Publishing for printing the work.

Thu 24 Dec 2020

  • A study suggests that England could face more Covid-19 deaths in the next six months than in the whole of 2020, unless restrictions are increased.
  • London is confirmed as the UK’s Covid-19 hotspot with more than 2% of Londoners having the virus. Meanwhile, infection rates increase in every region of England.

Sat 26 Dec 2020

  • Global Covid-19 cases pass 80 million.

Tue 29 Dec 2020

  • UK records over 50,000 infections in 24 hours for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Wed 30 Dec 2020

  • The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is approved for use in the UK. We receive many queries regarding it. We are currently unable to confirm its status and have contacted the company for further information.
  • UK announces plans to delay second-stage vaccinations and prioritise giving more people their first vaccine in order to curb the spread of the virus more quickly.

January 2021

Sun 3 Jan 2021

  • The death toll in UK passes 75,000.

Mon 4 Jan 2021

  • England enters third national lockdown with schools closed and people allowed to leave their homes once a day for exercise. This is for the next six weeks at least.
  • UK becomes the first country to administer the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Yūsuf Māmā Ṣāḥib of Batley passes away today at home. He taught at Dewsbury Markaz and other institutes for many years. A very quiet and humble scholar.  May Allah Almighty accept his lifelong service and grant him an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws.
  • Places of worship including Masjids can remain open for communal worship during the new lockdown in England. (I tweet on 7 January: Should Masjids remain open during this lockdown? Communal worship is permitted, therefore, Masjids should remain open. Management should review risk assessments and enhance precautions and social distancing measures. Avoid all intermingling and consider multiple Jumuʿah Prayers).

Tue 5 Jan 2021

  • We issue religious advice online regarding the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • GCSEs and A-Level examinations are cancelled in the UK for 2020-21 as the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty announces that 1 in 50 people in the UK has Covid-19.
  • The UK records over 60,000 cases in 24 hours for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Wed 6 Jan 2021

Fri 8 Jan 2021

  • The BBC reports: “A further 1,325 people have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test – a new record. Another 68,053 new cases have been recorded – the highest daily figure since mass testing began.”
  • ‘Major incident’ is declared in London as cases soar.

Sat 9 Jan 2021

  • UK passes three million cases as deaths pass 80,000.

Mon 11 Jan 2021

  • Sad to hear of the demise of Shabbir Bhai, the caretaker at our local Masjid Sajedeen, in the Covid-19 illness. A very humble and jolly person. Will be missed. May Allah Almighty accept his service and grant him an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws.
  • Delighted to receive the Musnad of Imām Ḥārith ibn Muḥammad ibn Abī Usāmah (d. 282/896), published for the 1st time in 5 volumes. It contains 3007 Ḥadīths. May Allah reward Shaykh Ḥabīburraḥmān al-Aʿẓamī for locating the manuscript and his grandson Dr Masʿūd Aḥmad for publishing it now.

Wed 13 Jan 2021

  • Sad to learn that Ḥājī Nizamuddin Makda has passed away from Covid-19. He served the Blackburn community, in particular Masjid Noorul Islam for many years and was instrumental in founding Malawi Relief Fund UK. May Allah accept his life-long service and grant him an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws.
  • In approximately 1418 Hijrī, our respected Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī Ṣāḥib warned that there will be an epidemic and a massive upheaval after 24 years. 24 years have passed. We are currently in 1442. This is the foresight of the pious. May Allah protect us all.

Tue 19 Jan 2021

  • UK records 1610 deaths in 24 hours, the highest since the pandemic began.

Wed 20 Jan 2021

  • We issue advice regarding the Moderna vaccine.
  • We issue advice on whether Masjids should suspend communal worship.

Fri 22 Jan 2021

  • Dr Masud Baig, our Darul Uloom Bury doctor passes away. A unique sincere person with a clean heart.
  • Our very dear family friend who spent his life serving in Darul Uloom Bury, Mawlānā ʿAlī Māyat Ṣāḥib is currently unwell and has been taken to hospital. May Allah Almighty grant him Shifā and ʿĀfiyah. Āmīn.

Sat 23 Jan 2021

  • Today marks one year since Wuhan entered lockdown, confining its 11 million citizens to their homes.

Mon 25 Jan 2021

  • Moderna confirms that its vaccine works against mutated versions of the virus first found in the UK and South Africa.

Wed 27 Jan 2021

  • UK announces compulsory hotel quarantine for those arriving firm ‘high-risk’ countries. In addition, those seeking to leave the UK will now need to make a written declaration of their need to travel.
  • There is a lot of confusion regarding the narration that “When disease descends from the sky, it is averted from the inhabitants of the Masjids” and whether it means that Covid-19 cannot enter the Masjid. We clarify the meaning of this in a detailed answer online.

February 2021

Fri 12 Feb 2021

  • I take my first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Bolton.

Sun 14 Feb 2021

  • 15 million Britons have now received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
  • The Sri Lankan Government has implemented a compulsory cremation policy on all Covid-19 deaths. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is visiting Sri Lanka soon. We write a detailed letter to him requesting him to intervene. This is at the request of scholars in Sri Lanka and in partnership with the scholars of Pakistan.
  • Since taking the vaccine, I had a headache and fever for two days.

Thu 18 Feb 2021

  • Very saddened to learn of the demise of Mawlānā Miyā Aḥmad Fulat (known as Miyā Molṣab) who was extremely punctual with his Ṣalāh at our local Masjid Sajedeen in Blackburn. He graduated from Ashrafiya Rander over 50 years ago. May Allah grant him an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws.

Sun 21 Feb 2021

  • One in three adults in the UK have now received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
  • Very saddened to learn of the demise of the wife of my dear friend Mawlānā Hāshim Limbādā Ṣāḥib of Blackburn. She was extremely hospitable and worked hard throughout her life. May Allah Almighty grant her an abode in the highest station of Jannah and grant Ṣabr Jamīl to the family.
  • Al-Ḥamdulillāh, my article on the use of the title ‘Mawlānā’ has been published in Arabic by my dear friend Shaykh Maḥfūẓ Sylhetī. May Allah reward him for all his efforts. The original English article is available on the following link:

Mon 22 Feb 2021

  • A four-stage plan is announced to lift England out of lockdown over a period of several months, with schools reopening and outdoor socialising with one other person allowed from 8 March.
  • Data shows a 70% drop in Covid-19 transmissions among healthcare workers in the UK who have received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Tue 23 Feb 2021

  • I attend a meeting at Jaame Masjid Blackburn with Mr Dayaji, a Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council inspector who had visited the Masjid and sent a letter with unreasonable recommendations.

Wed 24 Feb 2021

March 2021

Sat 6 Mar 2021

  • I return to England.

Mon 8 Mar 2021

  • Very sad to learn of the demise of the learned Mufti Muṣliḥuddīn Ṣāḥib, Shaykh al-Ḥadīth of Dewsbury Markaz and the last remaining teacher of Mufti Aḥmad Khānpūrī. He would always visit our house on his trips to Blackburn. Very humble. May Allah grant him an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws.

Thu 11 Mar 2021

  • We issue guidelines for Ramadan and Eid.

Thu 18 Mar 2021

  • The European Medicines Agency declares the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine safe to use, declaring that the benefits outweigh the risks.
  • Jaame Masjid Blackburn writes a letter to Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council complaining about the unfair treatment of mosques. The letter is endorsed by 16 mosques of the town and many scholars. I also sign the letter and tweet: “Jaame Masjid Blackburn’s letter to @blackburndarwen supported by mosques & Imams from across Blackburn. The community deserves an unreserved apology & a full investigation. This is not the 1st time Muslims have been treated unfairly. Allah protect all the citizens of the town.”

Sun 21 Mar 2021

  • The Jaame Masjid letter is now a national story. Many regional and national organisations and charities including the Muslim Council of Britain, British Board of Scholars and Imams, Wifaqul Ulama, Ummah Welfare Trust, Indian Muslim Welfare Society, Coventry Muslim Forum write to Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council expressing concern.

Mon 22 Mar 2021

  • Blackburn Council writes to Jaame Masjid attempting to defend the indefensible.

Tue 23 Mar 2021

  • Jaame Masjid responds within 24 hours via a detailed letter. Many organisations write to the Council including Jamiat Ulama from South Africa. The Council is worried because of rumours and messages of a potential protest on the weekend.
  • The entire community is disappointed with the negative stance of Lancashire Council of Mosques.

Thu 25 Mar 2021

  • A school in Batley, West Yorkshire, has apologised to parents after a teacher showed blasphemous images of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to pupils. The teacher is suspended pending investigation.

Sun 28 Mar 2021

  • 30 million vaccinations have been administered in the UK.

April 2021

Sat 3 Apr 2021

  • Mawlānā Walī Raḥmānī dies in India. He was a visionary. He founded Rahmani 30. He was also General Secretary of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

Mon 5 Apr 2021

  • Saudi Arabia announces that only those who are vaccinated or who have recovered from the virus will be allowed to perform ʿUmrah.
  • Travel to Saudi Arabia from the UK is not possible unless one spends 14 days in another country.
  • Toilets in many mosques remain closed. We issue advice in this regard, strongly encouraging mosques to open toilet and ablution facilities.

Fri 9 Apr 2021

  • On behalf of Jaame Masjid Blackburn, we meet with Sayyed Osman and Martin Eden of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. Jaame Masjid’s team includes Shaykh Ahmed Sidat, Asif Karolia and myself. Mufti Hamid Patel chairs the meeting as an independent. The meeting is constructive, although the Council is not willing to acknowledge many of its shortcomings.

Mon 12 Apr 2021

  • The UK begins vaccinating over-40s, while non-essential shops, gyms and pubs reopen in England. Maktabs can also fully re-open.
  • The respected mother of Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Iqbāl Bāwā Rangūnī and our teacher Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Bilāl Bāwā Rangūnī has just passed away in Manchester. Monday is the day in which our beloved Prophet ﷺ passed away. May Allah grant her Jannat al-Firdaws and grant Ṣabr Jamīl to the family.
  • Ramadan began today according to Saudi Arabia. Wifaqul Ulama will start Ramadan tomorrow.

Thu 15 Apr 2021

  • The prominent Indian scholar and my dear friend, Sayyid Mawlānā Mahmood Madani Ṣāḥib is currently in hospital.

Sun 18 Apr 2021

  • Mawlānā Nūruddīn of Pālanpūr, Gujarat, India has passed away. He was a disciple of Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī and an associate of Mawlānā Kifāyatullāh. May Allah grant him entry into Jannat al-Firdaws.
  • Covid-19 cases are on the rise in India. The situation is dire. Hospitals are overwhelmed.
  • I tweet: “Shame on the Pakistani Government for using lethal force in Ramadan on protestors demanding action against those who insult our Prophet ﷺ. Those who stand up to defend the Prophet ﷺ are special in the eyes of Allah. May Allah reward them and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Mon 19 Apr 2021

  • Boris Johnson cancels his trip to India due to the Covid-19 situation in the country. India is now placed on the red-list. There was widespread anger that Pakistan and Bangladesh were placed on the red list despite India having higher infection rates.

Sat 24 Apr 2021

  • Half of the UK population has now had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination.

Tue 27 Apr 2021

  • I take my second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Accrington.
  • I request Ummah Welfare Trust and Muslim Welfare Institute to launch emergency appeals for India. I also request Masjids to start raising funds. Both charities begin appeals and so do many Masjids across the UK.

Wed 28 Apr 2021

  • India records its worst day yet in the Covid-19 pandemic, reaching record 24-hour numbers of new cases (360,960) and deaths (3,293).

Fri 30 Apr 2021

  • Received some heart-breaking videos and messages from Bharuch Welfare Hospital in Gujarat, India where a serious fire incident has resulted in at least 16 deaths and many injuries.
  • We issue advice in the scenario of a Muʿtakif who needs to break his Iʿtikāf due to testing positive.

May 2021

Sat 1 May 2021

  • Daily cases in India exceed 400,000 for the first time, after ten days of recording over 300,000 new cases each day.
  • Many people query the validity of using Zakat for oxygen cylinders and ventilators. We issue a detailed answer online.

Sun 2 May 2021

  • India records 3689 Covid-19 related deaths in 24 hours, another daily record.
  • The reading of Musnad Aḥmad finished today before ʿAṣr Ṣalāh. I write the following message on Facebook: “Completion of Musnad Aḥmad – A short while ago we completed the reading of Musnad Imām Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal at Darul Uloom Blackburn. The Musnad contains more than 28000 Ḥadīths. The reading began last Ramadan at the beginning of the pandemic, led by my respected father Mufti Shabbir Ahmad Ṣāḥib and attended throughout by my dear friend Mawlānā Muaawiyah Ṣāḥib and others. Our respected Mufti Muhammad Tahir Wadi Ṣāḥib also participated in most sessions. This is probably the first time the entire Musnad was read in the UK. May Allah Almighty accept the reading and make it a means of good and lifting the pandemic from us. May Allah Almighty shower mercy on Imām Aḥmad and keep us attached with the Ḥadīths of our beloved ﷺ. Āmīn.”
  • Qārī Shabbīr ibn Qārī Ṣāliḥ passed away today in Toronto. He was the one who brought Shaykh ʿĀʾidh al-Qarnī to our ancestral village of Jogvad, Gujarat, India.

Mon 3 May 2021

  • The authorities in the Indian capital Delhi have called for help from the army as the city grapples with a brutal second wave of Covid-19 cases.
  • Mawlānā Nūr ʿĀlam Khalīl Amīnī passes away at a hospital in Meerut. He was senior professor of Arabic language and literature at Darul Uloom Deoband and editor of its Arabic magazine.

Tue 4 May 2021

  • India passes 20 million Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began.
  • Pfizer predicts a £19 billion turnover in vaccine sales this year.

Fri 7 May 2021

  • England’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, warned yesterday that Covid-19 is unlikely to ever be eradicated.
  • England announces green list of twelve countries for travel purposes, taking effect from 17 May.
  • Receive a very sad picture from Helmand, Afghanistan on the final Friday of Ramadan where an air strike has left members of one family dead. May Allah bring the perpetrators to justice and liberate the region from occupiers and grant it peace and prosperity.
  • Israelis attack Masjid al-Aqsa, the compound and inside the buildings. Stun grenades are used inside the Masjid and worshippers are attacked.
  • Red Crescent is now reporting 178 Palestinians have been injured, 88 of whom were transferred to the hospital. At least 3 Palestinians have lost an eye from the attack at Masjid al-Aqsa.

Sat 8 May 2021

  • Despite the attack yesterday, 90000 people perform Tarāwīḥ Ṣalāh at Masjid al-Aqsa. The Imam supplicates for al-Aqsa along with Yemen, Syria and elsewhere. A huge act of courage with al-Aqsa surrounded by armed Israelis. May Allah protect al-Aqsa.
  • The attacks on Masjid al-Aqsa and Palestinians continue. Absolutely horrendous scenes are received from inside Masjid al-Aqsa where Israeli terrorist apartheid forces are attacking worshippers.
  • I tweet the followings: “Any statement from the UAE based Peace Forum & its founder Bin Bayyah on the #AlAqsa attacks? Or do they only issue statements when it suits their political & finance masters? Or only when Arab states normalise relations with Israel & legitimise oppression against Muslims?” (I tweet the following message on the following day on Sun 9 May 2021: “Deafening silence from the UAE based so called “Peace Council”, its founder and famous individuals associated with it. May Allah protect the Ummah from their harm and guide them.”)

Sun 9 May 2021

  • Data shows a third of UK adults are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
  • I tweet the following message: “Years of worship in comfort cannot match the courage, perseverance and bravery shown by the Palestinians in a few minutes, in defence of #AlAqsaMosque. May Allah give them more strength.”
  • The mother of my dear friend and colleague Mawlānā Shuaib Patel Ṣāḥib of Batley, UK has passed away. May Allah Almighty grant her an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws and grant Ṣabr Jamīl to Mawlānā and the family. Āmīn.
  • My respected father Mufti Shabbir Ahmed Ṣāḥib completed the recitation of the Quran in Tarāwīḥ Ṣalāh at Darul Uloom Blackburn, having led the full 20 Rakʿat throughout Ramadan.

Mon 10 May 2021

  • Data shows a third of UK adults are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
  • Shocking scenes come from inside Masjid al-Aqsa showing Israeli police firing tear gas and stun grenades at worshippers. Several hundred people are injured, some critical. Allah grant strength to our brothers and sisters.
  • Muslims pray two Rakʿahs of Shukr in Masjid al-Aqsa this morning after successfully thwarting Israeli settlers’ plans to storm the mosque. This despite being fired upon with rubber bullets, grenades and tear gas
  • The situation is escalating. Hamas issues an ultimatum to Israel to withdraw from Masjid al-Aqsa by 6pm, otherwise it will fire rockets. Rockets are fired and Israel starts to bomb Gaza.
  • An Israeli deliberately runs over a Palestinian outside Damascus Gate in Quds.
  • In the evening, Israelis attack Palestinian worshippers after night prayers at Masjid al-Aqsa. I tweet regarding this adding: “Those who attack the houses of Allah will face severe consequences in this world and the hereafter.”

Tue 11 May 2021

  • I deliver a short five-minute speech outside Blackburn Town Hall along with the local MP and Leader of the Council. The protest for Palestine has been organised by Lancashire Council of Mosques.
  • Overnight, Israeli bombs rained in on Gaza. 28 Palestinians were killed, 9 were children. Much of the infrastructure is being targeted.

Wed 12 May 2021

  • Merciless attacks on Gaza continue. I tweet the following: “According to the Ministry of Health in #Gaza: – 65 people murdered – They include 16 children, – 5 women, – An elderly person – 365 people injured May Allah grant ʿĀfiyah to the injured and Jannat al-Firdaws to the martyrs.”
  • Tomorrow is one united Eid in the UK. I tweet the following: “A very happy and blessed #Eid for Muslims worldwide. Imams across the world are requested to focus their #Eid sermons on the plight of Masjid al-Aqsa and the suffering of our fellow Muslims in #Palestine and other parts of the world. May Allah shower His mercy on them.”

Thu 13 May 2021

  • I lead Eid Ṣalāh in the Marquee near Troy Street Mosque in Blackburn. Yesterday, the Police and Council officers visited, probably because the organiser was Mawlānā Hanif Dudhwala. Some of the questions were unreasonable, according to Mawlana Hanif. The Police contacted me later to explain their perspective and requested me not to cancel. The Eid Ṣalāh went ahead.
  • 100,000 Palestinians perform Eid Ṣalāh in Masjid al-Aqsa despite threats from the Israeli terrorists. Allah always keep Al-Aqsa populated and protect it.
  • Our very dear Farook Bhai Bobat passes away. Janazah Salah is performed at Masjid Sajedeen, Blackburn at 4pm.  He was a quiet, humble and sincere person.  May Allah grant him an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws.
  • In India, Mawlānā Qārī Riḍwān Nasīm Ṣāḥib of Mazahirul Uloom Saharanpur and Mawlānā Ḥabīburraḥmān ʿAẓamī Ṣāḥib of Darul Uloom Deoband have both passed away. May Allah Almighty grant them an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws.
  • ‘Police to release men from immigration van blocking Glasgow street’, reports the BBC. Thank you, residents of Glasgow, for standing up for justice and challenging the inappropriate action on Eid day. Credit to Humza Yousaf and Nicola Sturgeon for their leadership. This is remarkable! The men inside an immigration enforcement van at the centre of protests in Glasgow were escorted with their solicitor Aamer Anwar to the nearby mosque and released.

Fri 14 May 2021

  • Gaza was bombed at night by land, air and sea with hundreds of air strikes in a minute. This was a full onslaught on the besieged people of Gaza.
  • Data shows a third of UK adults are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Sat 15 May 2021

  • I tweet the following: “According to the Ministry of Health in #Gaza: – 139 people murdered – They include 39 children, – 22 women. – 1000 people injured This does not include West Bank figures. May Allah grant ʿĀfiyah to the injured and Jannat al-Firdaws to the martyrs.”
  • I also tweet the following: “Israel destroys Aljalaa Tower in central #Gaza housing #aljazeera #AP offices, local news stations, clinics & residential apartments. How did the USA respond when similar occurred on 9/11?”
  • I also tweet the following: “In #Gaza over the past few days: – 1050 air strikes – 1000 wounded – 139 martyred (39 children, 22 women) – 155 million USD damage – 2 mosques completely destroyed – 76 towers & buildings destroyed – 120 cars destroyed – 719 residences totally damaged.”

Mon 17 May 2021

  • I tweet the following at 12.11am: “Another night of horror and terror for the Palestinians with more than 80 Israeli airstrikes on #Gaza just in the past 30 minutes.”
  • I tweet the following later in the day: “Cyclone Tauktae, which formed in the Arabian Sea, is moving northward along India’s western coast, bringing damaging winds exceeding 110 miles per hour and heavy rain to the state of Gujarat. Everyone is requested to make Duʿāʾ”

Tue 18 May 2021

  • The IsraelArabic twitter feed mockingly posted Sūrah al-Feel on its Twitter. I replied with the verse لعن الذين كفروا من بني إسرائيل and another verse فبما نقضهم ميثاقهم لعناهم.
  • Yesterday, the Government relaxed some rules for England for outdoor meetings. Restaurants can now open for indoor meals. Within places of worship, six people or two households can worship together. We issue guidance in this regard.

Thu 20 May 2021

  • Yesterday, India hit a record number of 4,529 daily deaths since the start of the pandemic.
  • I tweet the following: “A ceasefire between the Israeli apartheid state & Hamas does NOT mean the end of Israeli occupation & brutality. Gaza will still be besieged. Other areas of Palestine will remain occupied. Oppression will continue. Reduced media coverage does not mean the root cause is resolved.” This receives more than 5000 retweets.

Fri 21 May 2021

  • Very saddened to learn of the demise of Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Qārī ʿUthmān Manṣūrpūrī, the son in law of Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī and father of Mufti Salmān Manṣūrpūrī. He dedicated his life to Jamiat Ulema India and to Darul Uloom Deoband. May Allah grant him an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws.
  • 12 hours after the ceasefire, Israeli apartheid police storm Masjid al-Aqsa after Jumuʿah Ṣalāh and shoot rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the Palestinians.
  • Many children are expressing solidarity with Palestinians in schools. I tweet: “A teacher can get away with showing an extremely offensive cartoon of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) to school pupils. Yet, children in schools are targeted & punished for expressing their solidarity with the children of #Gaza. Shame on such schools. #DoubleStandards”.

Sat 22 May 2021

  • The UK’s Health Secretary confirms that two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are almost as effective against the ‘Indian variant’ as they are against the ‘Kent variant’.

Sun 23 May 2021

  • 60 million vaccine doses have been administered in the UK.

Wed 26 May 2021

  • Belgium limits use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to those over 41 after a woman dies after receiving the vaccine.

Thu 27 May 2021

  • Reports suggest that the Saudi authorities have announced limited numbers for Hajj this year. May Allah make Hajj possible for all those who wish to perform it, enable us all to visit Ḥaramayn and Masjid al-Aqsa with ʿĀfiyah, and keep all three blessed places safe and populated.
  • A ‘Stop Arming Israel’ protest is held outside BAE in between Blackburn and Preston by the newly formed Lancashire Peace Forum (LPF). I deliver the final speech and Duʿāʾ.

Sat 29 May 2021

  • Yesterday, Greece unveiled the first EU Covid-19 passport to be up and running before 1st
  • I deliver Salam Youth Academy’s part 1 on ‘40 Ḥadīths recital on Masjid al-Aqsa’ with translation and brief commentary, between 7.30pm and 9.20pm.

Mon 31 May 2021

  • The World Health Organisation reveals names of Covid-19 variants in lieu of country-based names to avoid international stigma.

June 2021

Tue 1 June 2021

  • Britain records no new deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test for the first time since July 2020.

Thu 3 June 2021

  • The respected mother of our teacher Mawlānā ʿAbdurraḥīm Ṣāḥib passes away at Tahajjud Ṣalāh time in Bolton. May Allah Almighty grant her an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws and grant Ṣabr Jamīl to respected Mawlānā and all the family members and associates.
  • The Indian (Delta) variant is the highest in Bolton and Blackburn and hospital admissions in both towns are on the rise.
  • Mawlānā Maḥfūẓ, the young Bangladeshi scholar and researcher of several books visits me from London today. He gifts me copies of ‘al-Madkhal ilā Kitāb al-Hidāyah’ which he published, which includes my article on the use of the title ‘Mawlānā’.
  • Portugal is removed from the UK Government’s green list of destinations.

Fri 4 June 2021

  • Bolton GPs offer second Covid jabs four weeks after the first jab, going against national rules.
  • Lancashire Peace Forum (LPF) delivers another protest outside BAE Salmesbury today in the afternoon, with a ‘funeral procession’ to commemorate the 69 children murdered in Gaza. I deliver the final speech and Duʿāʾ. Most of the attendees are women and children.

Sat 5 June 2021

  • The UK’s medicines regulator has given its approval for 12 to 15-year-olds to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
  • NHS boss says that the Delta variant is not significantly increasing hospital numbers.
  • Special Duʿāʾ is requested for Shaykh Taha Karaan of South Africa who visited us in the UK in 2017. He is currently in hospital. May Allah Almighty grant him ʿĀfiyah and a speedy recovery.

Sun 6 June 2021

  • World Health Organisation official says that eradicating Covid-19 is now no longer a reasonable target.
  • UK Health Secretary says that Ministers are open to delaying the reopening date of June 21 if the spread of the Delta variant worsens.

Tue 8 June 2021

  • Vaccine passports are to be used for the first time in the UK at sporting events for England’s Euro 2020 group games at Wembley.

Thu 10 June 2021

Fri 11 June 2021

  • I tweet the following: “Extremely saddened to receive the news of the demise of the learned esteemed scholar of South Africa, Shaykh Muhammad Taha Karaan Raḥimahullāh. A great loss for the Ummah. May Allah accept his life-long service and grant him an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws.” I also write on obituary on the website for Mawlānā, refer to the following link:

Sat 12 June 2021

  • Saudi Arabia bans foreign visitors from the Hajj pilgrimage.
  • 12 students complete their Ḥifẓ (memorisation) of the Quran today in Masjid Noor, Manchester. This is the first program at the Masjid since the beginning of the pandemic. My father and I deliver speeches.

Sun 13 June 2021

  • A programme takes place in Masjid Saliheen on Mawlānā Taha Karaan. I read his ‘40 Hadiths on Contagions and Pandemics’ with brief commentary.

Mon 14 June 2021

  • England delays the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions by four weeks, to 19 July.
  • Saddened to hear of the demise of Ebrahim Karolia, the architect who supported many individuals and Masjids. Janāzah Ṣalāh is performed at 6.30pm at Jaame Masjid, Blackburn.

Thu 17 June 2021

  • We issue advice online regarding Waṣiyyah if Hajj is obligatory on a person but cannot perform it.

Sat 26 June 2021

  • Sajid Javid is appointed Health Secretary following Matt Hancock’s resignation, after he is caught snogging on video.
  • I travel to Coventry with my father, brother and cousins for a Ḥifẓ completion program in Masjid Zeenatul Islam. Thereafter, I travel with Mawlānā Sikandar to London for my onward journey to Sierra Leone.

Sun 27 June 2021

Wed 30 June 2021

  • Yesterday night, I arrived in The Gambia.
  • The senior scholar of Karachi, Pakistan and author of several books, Dr Mawlānā ʿAbdurrazzāq Iskandar passes away. Allah Almighty accept all his efforts and grant him entry into Jannat al-Firdaws.

July 2021

Fri 2 July 2021

  • South Africa records 24,270 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, its highest figures since the beginning of the pandemic.

Sat 3 July 2021

  • I return to the UK. The flight from Brussels to Manchester is cancelled, so have to travel via London Heathrow. There are limited flight options due to Covid-19.

Mon 5 July 2021

  • England confirms plans to remove all regulations on face masks and social distancing on 19 July.

Thu 8 July 2021

  • English holidaymakers travelling to Amber list countries will not have to quarantine on return if they are fully vaccinated. This takes effect from 19 July.

Sun 11 July 2021

  • England is playing today in the Euro Final. People are going crazy. I tweet the following: “If you missed Maghrib Ṣalāh at the Masjid today due to the #EuroFinal then ask yourself: is your loyalty to the creation or to your Creator?”

Thu 15 July 2021

  • Extremely saddened to hear of the demise of Mufti Ebrahim Desai Ṣāḥib whose Fatwas and students continue to benefit thousands worldwide. I was honoured to meet him in Blackburn twice. A very humble and learned scholar. May Allah accept his life-long service and grant him Jannat al-Firdaws. It appears that he passed away from Covid-19.

Mon 19 July 2021

  • England removes the vast majority of Covid-19 restrictions including social distancing and wearing a mask. Masjids are now open in the usual manner. We issued advice a few days ago in this regard.
  • I tweet the following: “As Covid-19 restrictions end today in England, we should thank Allah and frequent the Masjids. Also make Duʿāʾ today for the deceased especially: Mufti Saʿīd Pālanpūrī, ʿAllāmah Khālid Maḥmūd, Mufti Zarwalī, Mawlānā Salmān Maẓāhirī, Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mufti Ebrahim Desai and Dr Muhsin Khan.”
  • Face masks are to remain mandatory on Transport for London services.

Tue 20 July 2021

  • Today is Eid al-Adha, for Saudi followers. Eid Ṣalāh takes place without social distancing. I perform Eid Ṣalāh at Corporation Park, Blackburn outdoors. May Allah reward the organisers for reviving the Sunnah.
  • UK reports 96 deaths in 24 hours, its highest death toll since March.

Wed 21 July 2021

Thu 22 July 2021

  • Ḥājī Walī Bhai Bharūchī, one of the elders at Blackburn Markaz has passed away. He served the community with distinction. May Allah Almighty forgive his shortcomings, accept his life-long service and grant him Jannat al-Firdaws. Janāzah Ṣalāh is today at Blackburn Markaz at 11am.
  • UK reports 96 deaths in 24 hours, its highest death toll since March.
  • We meet some local Muslims in the beautiful small town of Orgiva in Spain. The route between Malaga to Orgiva is scenic. We also visit the Haqqani Zawiyah and Mosque here along with a local Halal restaurant.

Fri 23 July 2021

  • We visit the the famous Alhambra Palace in Garnāṭah (Granada) in Spain. The Nasrid Palaces within the Alhambra have some breath-taking views. The most prominent and often repeated inscription on the walls states: ‘Walā Ghālib illā Allah’ (There is no Victor but Allah). Muslims ruled Spain for 800 years. May Allah return it to us.

Sat 24 July 2021

  • The heart bleeds, as it did today, when you visit the Masjid in Cordoba (Qurṭubah) which was converted to a church in the 13th It was probably the largest Masjid building at the time across the world. The building has mammoth dimensions. It stretches across 24,000 square meters and features as many as 856 aesthetic columns made of marble, granite, jasper and other fine materials. This was the hub of Islamic learning and civilisation in general. Great scholars such as Ibn Ḥazm, Ibn Rushd, Abū al-ʿAbbās al-Qurṭubī, Abū ʿAbdullāh al-Qurṭubi lived and taught here, whose books feature on the shelves of Islamic libraries worldwide. A 1000 years ago, Cordoba was the most spectacular city in Europe. It boasted paved and well-lit streets, running water, thousands of shops and libraries, including the caliph’s library, which held some 400,000 books. However, today we were unable to perform two Rakʿat Ṣalāh here in this Masjid.  Security officers follow us around. The most we (my respected teacher Qārī Zakir Ṣāḥib and I) could do is perform Ṣalāh on a chair by Ishārah (gestures). The Masjid is filled with Christian imagery. How humiliating for the Ummah of over a billion. May Allah unite us and revert this region and other parts of the Muslim world to a glorious united Muslim rule.

Sun 25 July 2021

  • We visit Medinat Azahara (مدينة الزهراء) today. It was a fortified palace-city a few miles from Cordoba. Its remains are a major archaeological site today. It was built by Abd-ar-Rahman III (912–961), the 1st caliph of Andalus. It served as the capital of the Caliphate of Cordoba.
  • Al-Ḥamdulillāh, finished reading Tawthīq al-Duyūn (توثيق الديون) by our respected Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani in the historic city of Cordoba which was once a global centre of knowledge.

Mon 26 July 2021

  • Al-Ḥamdulillāh, arrived Seville (Ishbīliyyah) a short while ago. This is the city where the great Mālikī scholar, Abū Bakr ibn al-ʿArabī was born and became a judge, and also where the Ḥadīth expert Ḥāfiz ʿAbd al-Ḥaq Ishbīlī grew up. Ḥāfiẓ Zaylaʿī relies on his book al-Aḥkām a lot.

Tue 27 July 2021

  • We visit the 104m (342ft) minaret of the Great Mosque (now Cathedral) of Seville. Built in 1198, it was the tallest minaret and tower worldwide. It does not have stairs to ascend. It has 35 wide ramps enabling the Muezzin to ascend on a horse. We walk to the top.

Wed 28 July 2021

  • We visit Gibraltar (Jabal Ṭāriq), which is a small 2.6 square miles British Overseas Territory. The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of which is a densely populated town. It is named after Ṭāriq ibn Ziyād who commanded the Muslim army here on 27 April 711 CE.

Aug 2021

Sun 1 Aug 2021

  • I travel from London to Madīnah via Riyadh. Refer to my travelogue for more details.

Thu 5 Aug 2021

  • Al-Ḥamdulillāh, good to see thousands of people flock to al-Masjid al-Ḥarām to perform ʿUmrah and Ṣalāh albeit with restrictions. May Allah protect Ḥaramayn and Masjid al-Aqsa and always keep them open and populated for all Muslims worldwide.

Tue 10 Aug 2021

  • Over 75% of adults in the UK now fully vaccinated.

Wed 11 Aug 2021

  • The UK scientific advisor warns that Covid is unlikely to be eradicated totally.

Thu 12 Aug 2021

  • Afghanistan is once again in the news. The Taliban have gained control of most of the country. Western nations are caught with surprise and are frantically planning evacuations. I tweet: “Around 600 UK troops are to be sent to Afghanistan to assist British nationals to leave, the government has announced. Time to end the occupation, accept defeat after two decades and allow the Afghans to determine their future.”

Sun 15 Aug 2021

  • Taliban enter Kabul peacefully without firing a shot. The Afghan President Ashraf Gani flees on a flight. A momentous and joyous day for Muslims worldwide. The fruits of two decades of resistance to occupation are being realised.
  • I tweet: “History is repeating itself. The 20-year occupation of #Afghanistan is coming to an end. This is testament to the bravery, courage, perseverance and determination of our Afghan brethren. May Allah grant them peace and prosperity and enable His Law and justice to prevail.”
  • I also tweet: “كم مِن فِئَة قليلة غلبت فِئَة كثيرة بِإِذن الله، وَالله مع الصابرين Many a small group has, by the permission of Allah, triumphed over a mighty group. Allah is with the patient. (Quran, 2:249) #Afghanistan #Kabul”.

Mon 16 Aug 2021

  • Chaotic scenes are emerging from Afghanistan with people trying to flee despite Taliban announcing a general amnesty. Some people cling on to a US jet and fall down as the plane takes off. I tweet in this regard: “Summary of the disastrous 20-year occupation of #Afghanistan plays out in #kabulairport with several dead. USA should gracefully hand the Airport to #Taliban to end the chaos and avoid further deaths. Time to display some humility and admit failures.”

Tue 17 Aug 2021

  • I tweet: “An excellent press conference held by @Zabehulah_M33. Unlike Biden yesterday, Mulla Zabihullah Mujahid took questions after his speech and assured the Afghan people and the international community. May peace, justice, unity and the divine law prevail in #Afghanistan.”

Wed 18 Aug 2021

  • Mawlānā Ayyūb Ṣāḥib of Zomba, Malawi passed away today. He was involved in charitable work and is among the early scholars of the country from India. I met him in July 2017 when I visited Malawi.
  • I tweet the following: “Shocking! Women cannot exit their homes, go to school, get a job, or travel if they go against what they are ordered to wear otherwise they will be arrested or given a fine. No, I am not talking about #Afghanistan, I am talking about France.  #doublestandards #WomensRights.”

Tue 24 Aug 2021

  • Five billion Covid-19 vaccines have now been administered globally.

Sep 2021

Sun 5 Sep 2021

  • The UK’s vaccine minister confirms that vaccine passports will be compulsory for mass events and large venues by the end of September.
  • My respected father Mufti Shabbir Ahmad said a few days ago: “Think! What were your deeds prior to Covid-19 and what are your deeds now? Has any change come in your life?”

Tue 7 Sep 2021

  • 80% of over-16s in the UK are now fully vaccinated.

Sun 12 Sep 2021

  • UK Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, confirms that plans for Covid-19 passports in the UK are being scrapped.

Mon 13 Sep 2021

  • The UK’s Chief Medical Officers decide that children aged 12-15 will be offered Covid-19 vaccines.

Sat 18 Sep 2021

  • The amber travel list is scrapped in the UK and replaced with a red or green traffic light system.
  • The new Afghan government is facing criticism on single sex education. I tweet: “Single sex schools are among the top performing schools in England. The policy of the new Afghan Government on single sex education at secondary level is not only based on Islamic principles, it is more advantageous for the learners’ education and development.”

Oct 2021

Fri 1 Oct 2021

  • India announces that Britons will have to undertake a 10-day mandatory quarantine when arriving in the country. This is a tit for tat announcement because the UK Government announced it will not recognise the Indian vaccine.

Sat 2 Oct 2021

  • Globally, deaths from Covid-19 pass 5 million.

Mon 4 Oct 2021

  • England’s traffic light system for foreign travel is scrapped from today and replaced with a single red list of countries, with seven countries on the list.

Wed 6 Oct 2021

  • UK lifts its guidance to avoid non-essential travel to 32 countries.

Thu 14 Oct 2021

  • The UK Government announces that lateral flow tests will replace PCR tests for travellers to England.

Wed 27 Oct 2021

Nov 2021

Wed 3 Nov 2021

  • Covid-19 related deaths hit 28 million globally.

Sun 7 Nov 2021

  • UK hits the 10 million Covid-19 booster vaccines target.

Mon 15 Nov 2021

  • UK extends its Covid-19 booster vaccine programme to those aged 40-49.
  • Maktubat Mashayikh is published in India. It is a unique collection of the letters of senior scholars such as Mufti Maḥmūd Ḥasan Gangohī and Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī and others to Mufti Shabbir Ahmad, featuring rare gems.
  • The Home Secretary Priti Patel has apologised to Dr Salman Butt after the government falsely described him as an extremist hate preacher. He is also given compensation.

Wed 17 Nov 2021

  • Both the father and mother of my dear friends Mawlānā Sirāj Bhānā and Mawlānā Junayd of Barbados have passed away in Barbados. May Allah Almighty grant them entry into Jannat al-Firdaws and grant the family Ṣabr Jamīl.

Sat 27 Nov 2021

  • UK detects its first two cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Sun 28 Nov 2021

  • Saddened to hear of the demise of respected Ḥājī ʿAbdul ʿAzīz Māster Ṣāḥib of Leicester, the father of Mawlānā Nawshād Ṣāḥib and a very good friend of my respected father. Very humble and noble. May Allah forgive his shortcomings and grant him entry into Jannat al-Firdaws. Āmīn.
  • Honoured to have attended the fundraising event of South Lakes Islamic Centre yesterday in Preston. This will be the first Masjid in the Lakes Inshāʾ Allah. I visited the site a few months ago. The closest Masjid from here is 50 miles. May Allah accept. A video clip of my talk goes viral as I stress on Masjids having women’s facilities.

Dec 2021

Sat 4 Dec 2021

  • The World Health Organisation reports that there have been no deaths from the Omicron variant so far, despite it being present in at least 38 countries.

Mon 6 Dec 2021

  • The UK Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, confirms that no one with Omicron variant of Covid-19 has been hospitalised in the UK so far.

Tue 7 Dec 2021

  • A video has leaked of senior Number 10 officials joking about holding a Christmas party last year during the lockdown.

Wed 8 Dec 2021

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson advises people to work from home from 13 December.

Fri 10 Dec 2021

  • The UK reports 58,194 cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours, its highest number since January 2021.
  • Data presented by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) predicts that Omicron will be the dominant variant of Covid-19 in the UK by mid-December 2021.
  • Imams in Saudi Arabia preach in their Friday sermons against Tabligh Jamaat. I tweet the following: “The Saudi ban on #TablighiJamaat is not surprising at all. This is part of a strategy to westernise the nation and make it less religious. Using the pulpit to justify it is shameful. We should also not forget the 100s of scholars languishing in Saudi prisons for speaking the truth.” The last sentence is added to highlight that genuine Salafī scholars are in jail.
  • My Arabic publication has just been published by Ismaeel Books in Beirut. It features two books: one on the spouses serving each other and the other on the wife addressing the husband by his name. May Allah accept and make it beneficial.

Tue 14 Dec 2021

  • The Deputy Prime Minister of Afghanistan, Mulla Abdul Gani Bradar asks the international community why they are silent, as the assets of the Afghan Central Bank are frozen. The ‘financial occupation’ continues.

Thu 16 Dec 2021

  • For the second day in a row, the UK records its highest number of Covid-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with almost 90,000 new infections.
  • “Looking for the Enemy: Mullah Omar and the Unknown Taliban” is the latest book by the journalist Bette Dam to be released soon. Having read Bette’s writings, this probably provides the most comprehensive insight into the life of Mullah Omar in English.

Sat 18 Dec 2021

  • Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, announces a ‘major incident’ in London in light of rising numbers of Covid-19 infections in the city.

Tue 21 Dec 2021

  • The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirms that no new restrictions will be put in place in England before Christmas, citing a lack of evidence to justify restrictions.
  • A Ummah Welfare Trust team from the UK has arrived in Afghanistan.

Wed 22 Dec 2021

  • The UK hits over 100,000 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours for the first time since the pandemic began.

Sun 26 Dec 2021

  • Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all reintroduce new Covid-19 restrictions, but England does not.

Jan 2022

Wed 5 Jan 2022

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces that the requirement for pre-departure tests for people travelling to England will be scrapped from 7 January 2022.

Sat 8 Jan 2022

  • UK hits 150,000 Covid-19 related deaths since the start of the pandemic.
  • I had my booster vaccine, Pfizer today, primarily because Saudi Arabia has mandated the booster from 1st February 2022 unless the second dose was taken in the previous eight months. My second dose was taken more than eight months ago.

Wed 12 Jan 2022

  • A High Court judge in the UK rules that the Government’s operation of a ‘VIP lane’ for manufacturers and suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE), which expedited the process by which a company received a contract, was illegal.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson admits that he attended a Downing Street garden drinks event on 20 May 2020, at a time of strict Covid-19 restrictions.

Fri 14 Jan 2022

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologises to the Queen for two parties held in Downing Street on the evening before Prince Philip’s socially-distanced funeral in April 2021.

Wed 19 Jan 2022

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces that all restrictions introduced to limit the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 are to end on 26 January 2022.

Thu 27 Jan 2022

Mon 31 Jan 2022

  • UK scraps plans to mandate that all NHS workers are vaccinated against Covid-19.

Feb 2022

Wed 2 Feb 2022

  • Saddened to hear of the demise of the mother of Mawlānā Hāshim Bharūchā and my respected teacher Mawlānā Ismāʿīl Bharūchā in Manchester. May Allah forgive her shortcomings and grant her entry into Jannat al-Firdaws.

Thu 3 Feb 2022

  • Al-Ḥamdulillāh, lost 10kg over the past two months.
  • I depart for ʿUmrah with wife via Royal Jordanian airlines. Our original plan was to travel in Ramadan with the children, however, this is cancelled as children are currently not allowed in al-Masjid al-Ḥarām and al-Masjid al-Nabawī and the situation for Ramadan is not clear.

Fri 4 Feb 2022

  • Novavax is approved for use on over-18s in the UK.
  • ʿUmrah bookings are now possible daily via the Eatamarna and Tawakkalna Apps. To access Maṭāf, men must be wearing the Iḥram clothes.
  • Ṣalāh bookings for al-Masjid al-Ḥarām are available daily on the App and the checks are superficial.
  • The App has changed now, so screenshots are no longer possible. The QR code flashes, and this is what the police want to see. They do not look at the time or date, all they look at is the flash and the colour of the flash as ʿUmrah has a different colour and Ṣalāh has a different colour.
  • Compared to last August, the number of pilgrims is much more, especially from Malaysia, Indonesia, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Sat 5 Feb 2022

  • Honoured to have met Mawlānā Dr Saʿīd ʿInāyatullāh Ṣāḥib for the 1st time, at his residence in Makkah al-Mukarramah where he graced me with Ijāzah in Ḥadīth and also wrote a foreword to my short Arabic treatise featuring 102 Ḥadīths on Khatm Nubuwwat (finality of prophethood).
  • The religious and social situation in Saudi Arabia is worsening.

Tue 8 Feb 2022

  • In India, the “Allāhu Akbar” chant of sister Muskan in Mandya, Karnataka goes viral. I tweet the following message: “In solidarity with our sister [in] #Mandya and in light of her courage against the #Hindutva goons in #India, this is the time for our sisters worldwide to wear the Abaya and fulfil the divine injunction of #Hijab. #AllahuAkbar”.
  • Jamiat Ulema Hind announces a 500 thousand rupee (£5000) reward for her and others follow suit.

Fri 11 Feb 2022

  • Honoured to have participated in the Janāzah Ṣalāh of Ḥājī Aḥmad Nākhudā in al-Masjid al-Nabawī after Jumuʿah Ṣalāh. He passed away at Tahajjud Ṣalāh time. A blessed time, a blessed day, a blessed city and a blessed resting place. May Allah shower mercy on him and grant him Jannat al-Firdaws.
  • Mawlānā Zubair Malik informs me later that among the many qualities of Ḥājī Ṣāḥib, one was to support the Sayyid families of Madīnah with non-Zakat funds.
  • Access to al-Masjid al-Nabawī for Ṣalāh is easy as long as you are vaccinated and immune on the Tawakkalna App. The checking, however, is more rigorous than Makkah al-Mukarramah.
  • Access for Salām and Riyāḍ al-Jannah is only possible if one has a booking and at the specified time. The QR code is scanned and there are multiple checks. This is unlike Makkah al-Mukarramah where there are no proper checks as long as the QR code is flashing. In addition, only one booking is possible in Madīnah every 10 or 14 days, so it is advised to book one Ziyārah and one Riyāḍ al-Jannah at the beginning and end of the visit so that one can make Salām at the beginning and end as a minimum.
  • According to the World Health Organisation, the most deadly phase of the pandemic could finish this year if 70% or more of the world gets vaccinated.

Sat 12 Feb 2022

  • Today is our final day in the blessed city of Madīnah. 95% of the shops in the Taibah Centre are vacant. It feels strange.
  • I tweet the following message: “Extremely heart-breaking to see young children prevented from entering al-Masjid al-Ḥarām & al-Masjid al-Nabawī, resulting in mothers performing Ṣalāh outside the compounds, despite being allowed to visit other crowded places. May Allah grant Tawfīq to the authorities to review.”
  • Norway ends most of its Covid restrictions, with distancing, mask-wearing and quarantining mandates being dropped.

Sun 13 Feb 2022

  • We arrive in the UK. There are no PCR tests required. The Passenger Locator Form needs completing.

Wed 16 Feb 2022

  • In England, the government announces that children between the ages of 5 and 11 will be offered a Covid-19 vaccine.

Fri 18 Feb 2022

  • Jaame Masjid Blackburn request me to deliver the pre-Jumuʿah speech on “Afghanistan in Crisis”.

Sun 20 Feb 2022

  • Queen Elizabeth tests positive for Covid-19, but continues ‘light duties’, suffering mild symptoms.

Mon 21 Feb 2022

  • UK PM Boris Johnson announces that free Covid-19 tests will no longer be available to the general public from the start of April.

Tue 22 Feb 2022

  • The World Health Organisation reports that the number of new Covid-19 infections decreased by 21 percent over the course of the past week.

Thu 24 Feb 2022

  • Russia launches Ukraine invasion.
  • The legal and mandatory self-isolation period for those with Covid-19 ends in England, although the guidance for those who test positive to stay at home will remain until April 2022.

Sat 26 Feb 2022

  • Two scientific studies are released concluding that it is ‘extraordinarily clear’ that a food market in Wuhan, China was the source of the Covid-19 virus.

Sun 27 Feb 2022

  • Shaykh Maḥmūd Ashraf Usmānī (Mufti Muḥammad Taqī Usmānī’s nephew and teacher of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī at Darul Uloom Karachi) has passed away. A great loss for Darul Uloom and the Ummah. Allah Almighty grant him an abode in Jannat al-Firdaws and Ṣabr Jamīl to the whole family and all associates.

March 2022

Wed 2 Mar 2022

Thu 3 Mar 2022

  • Arrived in Niamey, Niger for the first time. Despite the extreme poverty that exists here, people are very religious and welcoming. Allah Almighty preserve the Īmān and dignity of all our brothers and sisters here.
  • A study from the University of Oxford finds that a drug commonly used to treat arthritis reduces the risk of death from severe Covid-19 by 20%.
  • Al-Ḥamdulillāh, I pass my PhD viva. The thesis is based on the Ḥadīths of the famous Ḥanafī book Hidāyah. May Allah accept and make the doctorate beneficial for me and others. A brief overview is outlined in the travelogue. Āmīn.

Sat 5 Mar 2022

  • Saudi Arabia ends most of its remaining Covid-19 restrictions, including social distancing rules and the need for testing prior to arrival in the country. This is welcome for ʿUmrah visitors.

Sun 6 Mar 2022

  • The official global death toll from Covid-19 passes 6 million.
  • I travel from Niger to Sierra Leone.

Tue 8 Mar 2022

  • Fortunate to have met Uvais Sureshwala from Ahmedabad, India and his three Tabligh Jamat colleagues who along with their wives are spending two months in Sierra Leone. This is a huge sacrifice. Living in Masjids and local residences is not easy. Allah Almighty accept their efforts.

Wed 9 Mar 2022

  • I travel from Sierra Leone to The Gambia.

Fri 11 Mar 2022

  • Buckingham Palace announces that Queen Elizabeth, who is recovering from Covid-19, will not attend the Commonwealth Day service on 14 March.
  • I travel from The Gambia to Senegal.

Fri 25 Mar 2022

  • The media focus is now fully on the Ukraine war. The focus has shifted from Covid-19. However, the double standards are clear. Israeli atrocities in Palestine do not receive the same coverage.

Sun 27 Mar 2022

April 2022

Fri 1 Apr 2022

  • Al-Ḥamdulillāh, honoured to lead Jumʿuah Ṣalāh at the Zomba Masjid re-built by my grandfather in 1962.
  • Ramadan has begun in Saudi Arabia, not in Malawi. In Makkah and Madīnah, the number of Tarāwīḥ Rakʿats is 10, which is a cause of concern. The reason for this is not clear as from a Covid perspective the impact is negligible.

Sat 2 Apr 2022

  • Honoured to visit the ‘Tanweer for the Blind’ Madrasah in Limbe, Malawi which is serving 23 blind boys and 16 blind girls. Brought tears to our eyes. A unique project. May Allah reward the founder Mawlānā Riyaz Bhana and the team.

Sun 3 Apr 2022

  • I make a day trip to Chipata in Zambia.

Tue 5 Apr 2022

  • I arrive to the UK from Malawi.

Mon 11 Apr 2022

  • The Arabic treatise on the Ḥadīths of the companion Umm Ḥarām bint Milḥān (may Allah be pleased with her) and her demise in Cyprus is now available in Beirut. It is accompanied by another treatise on reading books at the graves of their authors. Foreword to each treatise has been written by Mufti Muḥammad Taqī Usmānī Ṣāḥib.
  • I message Mufti Ṣāḥib regarding this and he replies: “بارك الله فيكم وتقبل منكم وأسبغ عليه القبول، لا تنسنا في دعائكم، ليوفقني الله لما يحبه الله ويرضاه إلى آخر عمري”.

Fri 15 Apr 2022

  • Israeli thugs have entered Masjid al-Aqsa and attacked Muslims. The hypocrisy of the west is exposed with its focus on Ukraine but no focus on Palestine.

Sat 16 Apr 2022

  • A famous Muslim preacher has been pictured with a Zionist Rabbi in the UAE as part of an inter-faith Ifṭār. I tweet the following: “Scholars must champion the interests of the oppressed in public & private. If they cannot do this, then as a minimum, they should avoid being used by oppressors & puppet regimes for their agendas. If they are used, then they must condemn the oppression unequivocally not vaguely.”
  • I also tweet: “I travel to India regularly. The situation is going from bad to worse. Many Muslims are losing hope. The Muslim voice is suppressed. This is not confined to Kashmir. Special Duʿāʾs are required for our brothers and sisters. Allah safeguard their Īmān, dignity, honour and wealth.”
  • I also tweet: “Shame on the Pakistani Government and Military for killing Afghans during the month of Ramadan. Why are the scholars and civic leaders of Pakistan silent?”

Sun 17 Apr 2022

  • I travel to Amsterdam spend several hours with Imad of the National Zakat Foundation Netherlands and thereafter travel to Saudi Arabia for ʿUmrah.

Tue 19 Apr 2022

  • In Saudi Arabia, there is no social distancing and wearing masks is not necessary. However, only those wearing the Iḥrām can enter the Maṭāf.
  • Extremely saddening to see the plight of many hundreds of widows, divorcees and poor residents of Madīnah Munawwarah, of Mauritanian and other ethnicities. We visit their homes and see the extreme poor conditions. It is heart-breaking. We can barely stand in some homes albeit for a minute. Al-Ḥamdulillāh, we distribute 10000 Riyals and plan to make further visits.

Wed 20 Apr 2022

  • Our very dear family friend Ḥāfiẓ Ismail Sidat of 1 Harwood Gate, Blackburn passes away in Madīnah Munawwarah at approximately 9.15am. How fortunate. He possessed many good qualities and worked hard all his life. He passed away from cancer. Along with my respected father, we travel to the various departments to finalise the arrangements for his Janāzah Ṣalāh.

Thu 21 Apr 2022

  • The Janāzah Ṣalāh of Ḥāfiẓ Ismail Sidat takes place after Fajr Ṣalāh in Masjid Nabawī. We are fortunate to be able to perform Ṣalāh in the first Ṣaff (row) in Masjid Nabawī. We also partake in his burial. His son and my respected father Mufti Shabbir Ahmad enter the grave. He is buried not far from the grave of ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān (may Allah be pleased with him). For further details, read my obituary on the following link:

Fri 22 Apr 2022

  • I return from Saudi Arabia to the UK. There is no need for a Passenger Locator Form, nor for a PCR Test or Vaccine certificate.
  • Over the past three days, we managed to distribute 76,640 Riyals. Allah reward Mawlānā Zubayr Malik Ṣāḥib for his passion on supporting the residents of the city and for spending many hours taking me to various Rubats and poor families. I tweet the following message: “Visited many other areas of Madīnah Munawwarah and Alḥamdulillāh distributed 76,640 Riyals. The thousands without Saudi citizenship are in real poverty. Allah Almighty protect and provide for them.”

Mon 25 Apr 2022

  • I meet Dr Riyad Kallingal at Darul Uloom. He is wearing a mask. He informs that there are 500 deaths from Covid-19 in the UK on a daily basis and it is concerning. As a result of Partygate, he does not think there will be any restrictions.

Tue 26 Apr 2022

  • Policy Exchange has today published a report entitled ‘Delegitimising Counter-Terrorism – The Activist Campaign to Demonise Prevent’ which is laughable at best. I tweet the following message: “The organisations criticised in the Policy Exchange report such as @FriendsofAlAqsa @MuslimCouncil @mendcommunity @UK_CAGE must be doing something good to be featured therein and should therefore be commended and supported.” As the focus from Covid-19 shifts, expect more attacks on mainstream Muslim organisations and new policies targeting Islam and Muslims.