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Considerations for Reopening Canadian Mosques during the Pandemic

Considerations for Reopening Canadian Mosques during the Pandemic

The following document is being provided as a guide to Canadian mosques preparing to re-open once restrictions on attendance at faith institutions are eased up by provinces. (Please keep up to date on all government and public health directives and guidelines in your province). It was prepared using the procedures published by mosques in Western and Atlantic Canada who have recently re-opened for a limited number of worshippers, as well as guidelines from other faith communities.  [Feedback can be sent to Iqra.ca@gmail.com]

The Big Picture

  • The safety of worshippers, staff and volunteers should guide decisions about reopening the mosque and holding activities.
  • COVID-19 will continue to affect us for at least the next year.
  • It is important for mosque administration to keep up to date on all government and public health directives and guidelines, and to adhere to them.
  • Do not look for ways to get around or bend the public health directives and guidelines. We need to work within both the rule and the spirit in which they are given.
  • Each mosque should consider having a COVID-19 Reopening Committee (include health professionals, if possible). 
  • Some considerations for your COVID-19 Reopening Committee to think about:
    • How will prayer space be re-configured to accommodate worshippers? How many worshippers can be accommodated in your mosque with physical distancing?
    • What changes will you need to make to the mosque prayer space, and other facilities such as washroom, wudu facilities, entrances and exits?
    • What extra cleaning practices will need to be implemented after every prayer service?
    • How will you discourage hand-shaking or other physical contact?
    • How many more staff and volunteers will be needed to implement the procedures?

Sample Mosque Reopening Procedures

The mosque will be reopened under the following conditions which will be strictly followed and enforced.

Individuals who decide not to follow the following rules will not be admitted into the mosque.

  • A maximum total of X people will be allowed into the mosque (follow provincial regulations when faith spaces are allowed to re-open in your province). People need to register to attend a mosque service in advance via this link (sample): http://mosquereopenxxx.eventbrite.com/ (You will be required to provide your name and phone number).
  • People MUST sanitize their hands when they come into the mosque and when they leave. A sanitizer will be available at the entrance.
  • People joining the prayer must wear a mask (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/video/covid-19-wear-non-medical-mask-face-covering-properly.html). No masks will be provided at the mosque.
  • People joining the prayer service must bring their own prayer mat. No prayer mats will be provided at the mosque.
  • Washrooms and ablution (wudu) areas will NOT be accessible. People coming to the mosque must perform their ablution (wudu) before coming to prayer.
  • Social distancing of at least 2 meters (6 feet) must be maintained at all times (Prayer spots will be marked in the mosque).
  • Avoid touching anything in the mosque (all bookshelves and books, including copies of the Quran, will be removed from the prayer area).
  • Once the fard prayer is completed, people must leave the mosque, one person at a time and as directed by staff and volunteers. Congregants should complete their nawafil prayers at home.
  • No individual will be allowed to remain in the mosque after the prayer service. The mosque will then be closed and deep cleaned until the next prayer.
  • Please, give a friendly wave to others, if you wish, instead of a handshake or hug.
  • No gatherings will be allowed on mosque property after the prayer service. People must leave the property right after the prayer service.
  • Congregants should wash their hands well or use sanitizers before and after visiting the Masjid.

Restrictions

Please note: You must NOT come to the mosque:

  1. If you are sick or have a compromised immune system or underlying medical conditions.
  2. If you have been out of the province for the last 14 days.
  3. If you are over 60 yrs of age and under the age of 14 yrs.

Additional Considerations

  • After resuming in-person prayer services for a limited number of worshippers, will the mosque continue to provide online streaming of the service for those unable to attend or in high-risk categories?

Additional Readings

1. Re-Opening of the Masajid with Care and Caution

http://fiqhcouncil.org/re-opening-of-the-masajid-with-care-and-caution/

2. Can I Pray at Home after Reopening Mosques?

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