Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau Critical Update for Muslims in Ottawa-Gatineau Regarding Covid-19 CoronavirusWritten by Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau
The Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau is closely monitoring local, national and international developments regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
Our prayers and sympathies are with everyone impacted by this unprecedented situation.
We will continue to monitor developments and give updates weekly or earlier if needed, Insha Allah.
As of today (Thu. Mar. 12, 2020), given the on-going coronavirus outbreak, our recommendations impact five specific categories of worshipers. Along with placing our trust in Allah
Almighty, we kindly encourage everyone to carefully read and follow these recommendations:
- Do you or your child have a cough, fever or trouble breathing? If you have a cough or fever, or are having trouble breathing (regardless of the cause), please pray at home and only attend the masjid once you have fully recovered. If your child has a cough or cold, please do not bring them to the masjid until they are fully recovered.
- Have you traveled internationally? If you have traveled outside Canada (including to the United States) in the last 14 days, please pray at home and do not come to the masjid until 14 days have passed since your return and you feel well.
- Have you been in close contact with anyone who has traveled internationally or who has been exposed to COVID-19 coronavirus? Please pray at home and do not come to the masjid until 14 days have passed since your last contact with them and you feel well.
- Are you an elder (over 60 years old)? Out of concern for your well-being, we encourage you to take extra precautions and consider praying at home.
- Do you have a serious, pre-existing medical condition? People who have terminal illnesses, respiratory problems, weak immune systems or are otherwise at high risk of contracting the virus, should pray at home until cleared by their doctors.
Those not attending Friday prayers will offer Dhuhr prayer at home instead. Insha Allah, anyone who offers prayers at home due to these reasons, even though they desire to be in the masjid, will be rewarded by Allah Almighty as if they have prayed in congregation.
All worshipers are encouraged to:
- Not shake hands or exchange hugs (just greet with salam verbally)
- Bring their own prayer mats and put them down just before prayer starts, or place paper on their sujood (prostration) spot
- Make wudhu at home, if possible
- Cover their sneezes and coughs with their sleeve or a tissue
- Regularly sanitize their hands with soap & water or hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching their face
Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 for guidance regarding symptoms
From next Friday, March 20, Friday prayer services may be shortened. Please look for timing announcements from your local Imam & Masjid. At this point, general cancellation of prayers, classes and programs is not being advised, but this could change as the situation develops. (Note that Kanata Muslim Association has cancelled Friday Prayer for March 13).
Most importantly, please increase du’a (supplication), istighfar (seeking forgiveness from Allah) and dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and take precautions while placing your trust in Allah. May Allah Almighty protect us all and may He cure all those who are ill.
The Council of Imams of Ottawa-Gatineau (CIOG)
Signed by the Council members (in alphabetical order):
Imam Ahmad Limame – Outaouais Islamic Centre
Imam Anver Malam – Jami Omar
Imam Ismail Albatnuni – AMA (Masjid ar-Rahmah)
Imam Mohammed Badat – Masjid Bilal
Imam Mohsen El-Nadi – SNMC
Imam Muhammad Sulaiman – Ottawa Muslim Association
Imam Owais Tilly - Jami Omar
Imam Samy Metwally – Islamic Society of Gloucester
Imam Sikander Hashmi – Kanata Muslim Association
Imam Zijad Delic – SNMC