Guidance for Masjids as legal restrictions end on 19 July 2021
Today (12 July 2021), the Government has formally confirmed that the Covid-19 legal restrictions are ending in England on 19 July 2021. This means that face masks are no longer necessary in places of worship and the 1m-plus rule is also removed. In light of this, should Masjids continue to enforce face masks, prayer mats and the 1m-plus rule after 19 July 2021? Also, what should Masjids do in relation to the ablution area and toilet facilities? Kindly advise.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
We must be grateful to Allah Almighty for the reduction in Covid-19 related related hospitalisations and deaths in England and for the removal of these restrictions. May Allah Almighty protect us all and grant us the tawfīq to frequent the Masjids.
In light of today’s confirmation, the vaccination of most adults in England, and the need to learn to live and cope with the pandemic, our advice is as follows:
- Face Masks: As face masks are no longer necessary, Masjids should not enforce the use of face masks. Worshippers can choose to enter the Masjid with or without a face mask. This should be a matter of personal choice.
- Social distancing: Islam has placed huge emphasis on standing together in congregational Ṣalāh. Therefore, Masjids should not enforce the 1m-plus rule. Congregational Ṣalāh should take place in the normal way without any gap. For optional individual prayers, worshippers can take a common-sense approach and adopt distancing where possible. There is no need for any enforcement in this regard.
- Ablution and toilet facilities: The ablution and toilet facilities should be open, as previously advised. Toilets have been open for many months across airports, shopping centres, hospitals, schools and many other settings. It is therefore unreasonable for Masjids to keep the ablution and toilet facilities closed. It is a separate matter that worshippers should be strongly encouraged to perform ablution from home.
- Prayer mats: Masjids should not make it mandatory on worshippers to bring their prayer mats. Worshippers can bring their own prayer mat if they wish to do so. This should not however result in gaps between worshippers during Farḍ Ṣalāh.
Masjids should continue to adopt reasonable precautionary measures including regular cleaning and communicating the importance of hygiene to the congregation, whilst also emphasising on the importance of frequenting the Masjids and turning to Allah Almighty.
Allah knows best
1 Dhū al-Ḥijjah 1442 / 12 July 2021
Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmed and Mufti Muhammad Tahir