We have hit a somber milestone in the coronavirus pandemic with more than 100,000 lives having been lost to date. Behind every single death is a real person with a life – with family, hopes, aspirations and dreams.

Muslims, along with other BAME communities, have been disproportionately affected throughout this pandemic. The tsunami of pain, grief and devastation felt by those who have lost loved ones cannot be expressed in words.

Many of us have not even been able to properly mourn our departed family members, be at their bedsides during their last moments or in some instances bury them with the full respect and dignity afforded by our Islamic traditions. The excruciating inability of families to carry out the Islamic custom of bathing the deceased before burial would have been unthinkable a year ago.

However, we take deep comfort in the fact that whatever may be missing in their farewell from the living, they shall have an honorable reception in the next world. Our belief is that in death, life is not ended, but life is transferred to another realm. The promise of eternal life brings hope.
The vaccine offers light in this darkest moment, and taking the vaccine is a vital part of the solution to defeating coronavirus, to save thousands of precious lives and be with our loved ones again.

Whilst we remember our deceased with sorrow, we honour the selfless heroism and professionalism of all those who have continued to serve us during this pandemic, whilst risking their own lives. I am utterly humbled and inspired by the incredible sacrifices that
all communities have made in our collective fight against covid.

We ask the Ultimate Healer, Allah Almighty, to grant those still afflicted with the virus a complete recovery and lasting healing. We pray that our Gracious God grants us relief from covid.

Imams across the country will hold a special prayer this Friday (the Muslim holy day) in memory of those lost to covid and to pray for everyone’s safety from the deadly virus. We support the call of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell for everyone, regardless of their faith or none, to join in a “prayer for the nation” every day from 1 February to allow a collective time for pause, reflection, and prayer.”

Imam Qari Asim,
Chair Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB)

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