Alexandria, VA – Islamic Relief USA, a nonprofit humanitarian and advocacy organization, today joined the National Muslim Task Force on COVID-19, a broad coalition of 34 American Muslim organizations, in releasing a joint statement strongly recommending that Muslims in North America make every effort to support self-quarantine and social distancing as advised by local, regional, state, and national public health or government authorities.
The National Muslim Task Force on COVID-19 is one of the largest American Muslim coalitions in recent times and is comprised of Muslim health professionals and fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), relief, charity, civil rights, and advocacy organizations.
The Task Force advisory urges Muslim congregants to avoid all public gatherings to protect themselves, their families and communities. It states that mosques, community centers, schools and other public centers immediately suspend all non-essential gatherings until further notice.
It makes the following recommendations:
- Muslims in North America should follow local guidance and make every effort to support self-quarantine and social distancing.
- Muslim community centers and places of worship should suspend all social and educational events and gatherings. Doing so is in line with important Islamic principles such as “avoiding harm takes precedence over acquiring benefit.”
- Concerning religious counseling and similar services, we recommend mosques and community centers implement online and telephonic platforms immediately. In this time of difficulty, the community will be relying on their faith leaders for advice, support, and guidance. Moving these services to virtual platforms fulfills a communal need while limiting the possibility of harms occurring from the lack of social distancing.
- Concerning congregational prayers, despite some areas of scholarly disagreement, there are areas of clear agreement among religious leaders and public health experts. Muslims are encouraged to reach out to religious councils for specific religious guidance.
The advisory also includes additional resources that answer questions about COVID-19, social distancing, how to prevent spread of the virus, taking care of yourself, and more.
The National Muslim Task Force on COVID-19 is presently comprised of 34 Muslim civil society organizations and includes the following organizations:
- American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP)
- The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA)
- Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA)
- Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
- The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA)
- American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)
- American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
- Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
- Darul Qasim
- The Family & Youth Institute
- Imamia Medics International
- Initiative on Islam and Medicine (II&M), University of Chicago
- Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
- Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA)
- Ma’rifa Conference
- Mercy Without Limits
- Mosque Cares (Ministry of W. Deen Mohammad)
- Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA)
- Muslim American Society (MAS)
- Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC)
- Muslim Caucus Education Collective (MCEC)
- Muslim Mental Health Lab, Stanford University
- Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
- Muslim Wellness Foundation (MWF)
- National Arab American Medical Association (NAAMA)
- North American Imams Federation (NAIF)
- Penny Appeal USA (PA USA)
- Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS)
- United Mission for Relief & Development (UMR)
- Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA)
- Zaman International
Syed M. Hassan
(703) 370-7246; (571) 421-7032 (CELL)
Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization. Its mission is to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy and disease regardless of color, race, gender or creed, and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner. Islamic Relief USA aims to provide rapid relief in the event of human and natural disasters and to establish sustainable local development projects, allowing communities to better help themselves. Its programs benefit millions of people each year around the world, including in the United States.
Islamic Relief USA meets all of the Standards for Charity Accountability of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a national charity monitoring group affiliated with the Better Business Bureau system. Islamic Relief USA is on the U.S. government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity list, and it is also a signatory to the code of conduct of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.