Top Tips for Studying During Ramadan and Lockdown

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Struggling to balance Ramadan and studying?

Many of us have had disruptions and adjustments made to our exams and assignments. In these unique circumstances with our Ramadan spent in Lockdown, we can often feel overwhelmed and our motivation dwindles. 😰📚

Worry Not!

BIMA have put together these TOP TIPS FOR STUDYING IN RAMADAN & LOCKDOWN. With a change of mindset and applying these top tips, we hope you can maximise your productivity both academically and spiritually insha Allah! 📈🏆🤲🏼



Guide To Safe Wearing of Headcoverings/Hijab During COVID-19

BIMA Coronavirus, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

📝There has been guidance from NHSE on appropriate levels of PPE in different clinical settings. Head coverings, however, have not been advised or mentioned.

🤲🏼 Many Healthcare workers wear head coverings as part of their faith – including Muslims, Sikhs and Jews.

📝 We have developed brief but clear guidance on head coverings. This is to facilitate good practice and minimise any risk of infection to patients.

See full PDF here: BIMA COVID19 Hijab Statement

Nightingale Mosque: COVID-19 Community Mosque Support

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📿 Do you want to be part of the National Effort against COVID-19 and use your mosque as a Nightingale facility?

📣Join BIMA as we discuss the Masjid Ghousia Community Mosque Support, led by Dr Mohammad Jiva MBE in Bolton.

🏨They are working with the NHS to create a 60-bed unit in the mosque, open to all, to relieve pressure on hospitals.

📣Find out what work is required and how you can look to set up something similar in your area: from commissioning, logistics, infrastructure, workforce and funding. A short presentation by Dr Jiva followed by an extended Q&A, open to all members of the community. Mosques and community clinical practitioners strongly recommended to join live.

📣Register live event on:

🗓 Tuesday 7th April
⏰ 8pm


[email protected]

Calming the Heart: Pt II

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Calling all frontline healthcare workers!

Feeling overwhelmed? Low? In need of a spiritual boost?

Join us online this evening for part 2 of Calm during the storm

This is the second in an uplifting self care series “Calming the Hearts of the Helpers” by Shaykh Idris Watts – especially created to support our frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Weekly spiritually uplifiting webinars brought to you by BIMA People

Let us help you, our helpers on the frontline, experience the calm that comes from recentering through spirituality in the midst of calamity.

At BIMA we value our healthcare workers and feel it is important that you take care of yourself as well as others during this difficult time.

Register now:

Missed out on the first episode?

Watch it now:

For queries, email: [email protected]

BIMA: Unite | Inspire | Serve

Muslim Mental Health in the pandemic

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Muslim Mental Health Organisations Unite!

Muslim Mental health during the pandemic poster

Asalaamu ‘alaikum,

Muslim mental health organisations in UK have united to provide a range of services to tackle mental health problems arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

Each organisation specialises in a different aspect of mental health.

Please share this with those who may be suffering – whether anxiety, loneliness due to isolation or just want to talk – we are all here for you.  |  |  |  |

Ghusl for Deceased Persons with COVID-19

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There have been several fataawa in the last few days from various scholars regarding ghusl of those who have died from Covid-19.

Some have said it is permissible with conditions. Others have said that it is exempt due to the dangers associated and the sparsity/ lack of familiarity with personal protective equipment (PPE).

In our professional opinion the differing views are not necessarily contradictory. Following discussions with Medical specialists, Islamic scholars and the National Burial Council, we have summarised how it is possible to achieve a balance between the normative obligation of ghusl and the safety / logistical issues specific to COVID-19 and what to do when this is not possible.

Clickable image to download PDF guidelines below:

  1. British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) guidance on the performance of ghusl for deceased persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19

2. Pathway to follow preparing deceased during COVID-19 pandemic

British Islamic Medical Association
[email protected]

Coronavirus self-care

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Feeling overwhelmed? Low? In need of a spiritual boost?
We proudly present Calming the Hearts, BIMA’s weekly spiritually uplifting webinars with Shaykh Shafi Chowdhury.

Join us every Sunday starting from 20:00hrs – 21:00hrs GMT

Let us help you, our helpers on the frontline, experience the calm that comes from recentering through spirituality in the midst of calamity.

Register now:

ACE FY1 2020

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BIMA ACE FY1 2020 poster

BIMA proudly presents our ACE FY1 course!

Hit the ground running and be that confident FY1 (or FY0 👀) who knows what to do and how to do it!

Due to Covid-19 this is an extra special edition and will be online only for the first time ever!

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better …. it’s FREE!

Time: Sunday 5th April 2020 2pm
Place: Your front room

Register your interest here:

Stay at Home: Managing Stress & Wellbeing During the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic

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It is understandable to be worried: Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to increasing anxiety, stress and fears of uncertainty. It is normal to feel like this. In these difficult times, you should make sure to be in tune with your emotions and mental well-being. If you are feeling overwhelmed, remember to turn to Allah.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.” [Abu Dawud].

Stress can manifest in different ways 1 

  • Racing heart, feeling tense and anxious.
  • Feelings of sadness, increased irritability and overwhelmedness.
  • Changes in sleeping patterns and habits.
  • Loss of appetite or change in eating habits.
  • Difficulty in concentration or lack of interest.

Tips on Limiting Stress While Social Distancing and Staying Indoors:

  1. You don’t have to be mentaly isolated when in physical isolation. Reach out to friends & ​family and create those human connections. Loneliness can worsen anxiety. 
      • Try video calls instead of emails, phone calls instead of messages. Why not have a virtual catch up over coffee!
      • Remember to check in and call the most vulnerable and the elderly.
  2. Separate spaces. Keep an appointed space for work, a space for sleeping, and a space for​ relaxation & ibadah, even if they all end up needing to be in the same room. This will help you focus and be more productive 2
  3. Fresh air & sunshine. Go out for a walk in your garden if you have one. If you don’t then open​ your windows and let the daylight in. Reflect on the beauty of Allah’s creation all around you.
  4. Exercise. Keeping healthy is not only a Sunnah but also triggers feelings of positivity. It is even​ more important now as our physical health is adversely affected by reduced social contact. Try some simple exercises at home. You could try skipping, push-ups, lunges or sit-ups. There are many useful online exercise videos, and many more being posted due to Covid-19.
  5. Limit your consumption of media. It seems like every media outlet is reporting on the​ pandemic, however try to limit your time watching and following the news. Try to focus on credible sources of information from the NHS 3, WHO 4, or the government 5
    • Do not spread misinformation. It is our duty to verify any information we spread
  6. Maintain a routine. Waking up at the same time will help you feel less tired and more refreshed,​ allowing you to concentrate better through the day. Get ready as you would normally, shower, get dressed and be ready for the day ahead. A personal routine helps to lessen anxiety.
  7. Maintain a healthy diet & stay hydrated. Be inspired by the Prophet’s dates, turnip, olives, black seed & honey. Don’t over eat and drink plenty of fluids (ZamZam if available).
    • The Prophet ﷺ said, “Use the Black Seed for indeed, it is a cure for all diseases except death.” [Bukhari]
    • “Honey is a remedy for every illness and the Quran is a remedy for all illness of the mind, therefore I recommend to you both remedies, the Quran and honey.” [Sahih Bukhari]
  8. Be God Conscious and remember Muraqabah. Spend time engaged in meditation/​mindfulness 6 (sitting in a quiet place, clearing your mind and reflecting on Allah), engage in frequent dhikr and Qur’an recitations. Designate a calm and tranquil place in your home where you engage in these activities. Make sure you disconnect from your phone at this time and try to establish a daily routine incorporating Muraqabah into your day alongside prayers. 
  9. Make time to do things you enjoy. We all have things we enjoy doing and it’s important to put​ aside time to do these. As we need to stay at home, why not try things you always put off because you didn’t have the time.
    • If you have children set aside some time to talk to them and keep them busy with fun activities or hobbies which may keep you occupied as well.

How to relieve symptoms of anxiety and stress

  • Be aware of your stress levels. Recognising the symptoms of stress & anxiety early makes​ them easier to manage. Identify the triggers that cause you to feel stressed.
  • Breathe. Focus on your breathing. Focus on the natural rhythm. Focus only on this.​
  • Listening to the Quran 7 . This can be very relaxing, there are many Qari to choose from. You​ could even try to improve your recitation by copying them, taking an ayah at a time.
  • Notice the good around you. It can sometimes be difficult when there is so much stress and​ uncertainty around you. Find something good around you, focus on it and squeeze the goodness out of it. Keep a look out for all that is good.
  • Be more independent and take a step back. Try to remove yourself from the current stressors​ and look at life as a bigger picture: What has been good? What have you achieved? Who are the positive people around you? What are you grateful for?
  • Write down what is worrying you. Problems can be easier to manage when written down.​
  • Create a ‘worry time’. Allocate time in the day or evening to think about what worries you. If you​ come across things during the day, try not to think about them until your ‘worry time’. You could even try and make this time a time you make du’a to Allah and talk to Him about your worries. 
  • Speak to family or friends. Identify at least one person who you feel comfortable talking to.​

Islamic Guidance on Dealing with Stress

At times of hardship, we are advised to turn to Allah. Whilst you can make dua in your native language for whatever you may wish, there are Prophetic and Quranic supplications that you may want to incorporate into your routine. 

اللُّهمَّ إِنِّي أَعْوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الهَمِّ وَ الْحُزْنِ، والعًجْزِ والكَسَلِ والبُخْلِ والجُبْنِ، وضَلْعِ الدَّیْنِ وغَلَبَةِ الرِّجال

” O Allah, I seek refuge in You from worry and grief, from incapacity and laziness, from cowardice and miserliness, from being heavily in debt and from being overpowered by men .” [Al-Bukhari]

It is narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There is no one who says in the morning of every day and the evening of every night, three times but nothing will harm him.” [Tirmidhi]

بِسْمِ اللهَِّ الَّذِي لاَ یَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِهِ شَىْءٌ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلاَ فِي السَّمَاءِ وَهُوَ السَّمِیعُ الْعَلِیمُ

“In the name of Allah with Whose Name nothing on earth or in heaven harms and He is the All-Hearing the All-Knowing and is then harmed by anything .”

رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا أَنتَ مَوْلاَنَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِینَ

“ Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us, and forgive us, and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people. ” [Qur’an,2:286]

This is the du’a of Prophet Yunus, mentioned in Surah Anbiya, Verse 87. From this dua, we are reminded that we should be patient in all of our affairs and constantly beseech Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said regarding this du’a: “Every person in a state of distress who has used this supplication has had God remove his distress” [Tirmidhi].

لا إِلَهَٰ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمین

“ There is no God but You, glory be to You, I was one of the wrongdoers .”

Seeking Allah’s protection from illness, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم would say:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّى أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْبَرَصِ وَالْجُنُونِ وَالْجُذَا مِ وَمِنْ سَیِّئِ الأَ سْقَامِ

Anas reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would say, “ O Allah, I seek refuge in you from leprosy, madness, degenerative diseases, and evil sicknesses .” [Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 1549]

Tips for Mosque to Ensure the Well-Being of the Community:

  1. Consider arranging daily talks or events via audio or video links. Some masjids have daily talks​​ during the day & Quranic recitation in the evenings.
    • This may help those who relied on the mosque for their well-being and sense of community to feel engaged and uplifted.
  2. Consider setting up volunteer groups to support the vulnerable and elderly, particularly those​​ with health conditions, mobility restrictions or those in isolation: 
    • These groups could help obtain groceries or supplies if needed, or provide emotional support.
  3. Engage potential volunteers. Many members of the community might have more spare time​ and will benefit from being involved in community work, even if it’s online.
  4. Signpost people to local services. Some may be struggling financially8. Some may need mental​ health support. 

When and How to seek Medical Attention:

If you are still struggling despite self help measures9 then call your GP, local mental services10 or one of the helplines:

  1. Muslim Youth Helpline, , tel: 0808 808 2008
  2. Muslim Counsellor And Psychotherapist Network,, email: [email protected]
  3. , email: [email protected], tel: 07943 561 561
  4. , tel: 0208 908 6715

There is wisdom behind the challenges we are currently facing, these are truly extraordinary times. There is a reason why you have been chosen to face these challenges. Use it as an opportunity to work on strengthening your connection with Allah. Every opportunity is a blessing. 


British Islamic Medical Association

Tuesday 24 March 2020

[email protected]

An open letter to the Muslim community.

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As Muslim Healthcare Professionals we have all been worried by the gap between the concerns around #COVID19 and the corresponding actions in our community.

We have put this open letter together to simply and clearly highlight the clinical urgency and seriousness of the situation, on the continuation of congregational activities in Muslim institutions in light of the pandemic.

Some will think the letter is going too far, others will think it does not go far enough – This is why we have chosen the form of words as we have.

If you agree that we must all act promptly to reduce the impact of this disease then please sign here to show your support  

Please share with your friends and colleagues and help us in reducing the impact of this disease in our communities.

The Letter

We, the undersigned, are frontline Muslim health professionals writing to inform our community about the harms of ongoing congregational activities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which continue to have a significant impact on societies across the world.

Today the Prime Minister announced that we all should be taking measures to avoid social contact, and the Chief Scientific Advisor has advised us to avoid gatherings “big or small”.

We seem to be on a similar trajectory as that of Italy which has suffered a dramatic spread of the coronavirus, where in just 3 weeks more than 2,100 Italian lives have been lost so far.

There are genuine fears the impact could be similar, if not worse, here in the UK. Plans are being made for 8 million people to be hospitalised in the UK due to the coronavirus and cases are expected to double every 5-6 days.

Evidence shows that the elderly and those with conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, immunosuppression and chronic lung disease are at a higher risk of mortality from the coronavirus. Those over 80 years of age have an almost 15% chance of dying if infected with the virus.

We have appraised the situation and evidence for our community based on what we know about the coronavirus. We have certain characteristics that place us at higher risk than the general population. These include:

  • an increased incidence of long-term illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure
  • an elderly population that often live with extended family making isolation difficult
  • frequent community congregations for social events (e.g. weddings) and religious purposes (e.g. madrassah & mosques) 

Alongside this we have specific risk factors for spreading the virus, which include: 

  • Densely populated spaces with general lack of adequate ventilation
  • Handshaking and hugging amongst congregants
  • Prostration on carpets where the virus may remain infectious
  • Sharing of ablution facilities

In light of the above, we must emphasise our strong concern that mosques and madrassahs – confined public spaces that fulfil the above criteria – can contribute to significant viral transmission in our populations.

Individuals may have the coronavirus and be contagious without demonstrating any symptoms, for up to 2 weeks.

Measures to advise only those who are unwell or at risk to stay at home are unlikely to be effective, as apparently ‘healthy’ individuals may become infected off each other and transmit the coronavirus back to their families and thus spread it further.

It is also important to highlight that there are simply insufficient hospital beds, particularly in the intensive care units, to handle the anticipated surge in demand.

In Italy doctors have been asked to actively decide who is offered treatment based on patients’ age, medical history and whether they have children. The Chief Medical Adviser has also indicated we are to expect deaths as a result of health service being overwhelmed.

We do not want our community to panic or act rashly, especially in our duty to Allah and His houses of worship, and are aware of the comfort and security our community institutions and mosques offer us in times like these.

But we must stress that it is unsafe and harmful to continue business as usual, or even with significant adjustments​ that some institutions have made to date. 

We recognise this is a decision for scholars, imams and mosques committees to make and we urge them to take steps to mitigate harms.

Our aim and intention is to clearly outline the harm that continuing any congregational activities will have on our communities, especially to our elders and those most vulnerable, even with restrictions in place.

Allah is the Disposer of all our affairs, the Protector of us all.

Updated: COVID-19 Guidance for Mosques in the UK

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This is an update of previous guidance published on the 6th of March 2020 found here

Last updated 12 March 2020


Dear Mosque Leaders, Staff and Volunteers,

Asalaam alaykum, Peace be with you

This is an update to the guidance issued on 6 March 2020 regarding the coronavirus, COVID19.[1] Emergency legislation will be introduced next week as containment measures to control the spread of the virus in the UK have not been successful.[2] The World Health Organization has now declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic.[3] This will have a significant impact on mosques, madrasas and Islamic centers due to frequent congregation and social contacts. 

What has happened?

At the time of writing, 456 cases have been diagnosed in the UK, and sadly 8 people have died.[4] This number is expected to significantly rise within days, particularly affecting the elderly, and action by everybody is required now to prevent the disease from overwhelming the health system. The worldwide fatality rate for those aged over 80 years is currently 14.5%. COVID-19 is also more deadly in people with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, immune suppression, and chronic lung disease.[5]

What are the plans now?

The UK’s Chief Medical Officers and public health bodies are using a model of ‘reasonable worst case scenario’ which draws on a variety of situations, some of which may never occur.[6] These are balanced between the impact to the economy, society and public order. For instance, the premature closing down of public spaces can create fatigue, quickly become ineffective and contribute to panic. As local communities, it is imperative that we prioritise the safety of congregants specifically, over and above the economy.

In order to control the spread of COVID-19, mosques, madrasas and Islamic centers in the UK are strongly advised to take the following actions urgently:

1.  Plan for suspension of congregational activities

This is not being currently advised but is highly likely in the coming days, should the outbreak continue at the projected rate. Therefore, it is advised that urgent action is taken to consider and organise the following, which may require a graded introduction to support the community:

  1. Communication – establish communication channels with attendees e.g. through WhatsApp, Telegram, email, website, or social media 
  2. Fundraising – set up online fundraising channels and donation portals for attendees to be able to support the mosque remotely if they are unable to attend
  3. Seriously consider shortening activities – reduce khutbah, salah and any reminders to shortest time possible. Suspend praying of sunnah and nawafil prayers in the mosque, as well as external events.
  4. Monitor – check guidance from public health bodies which suggest suspension may be necessary, and if advised by public health bodies, be prepared to announce suspension of Jum’ah and daily fardh salah in congregation
  5. Online services – consider live-streaming programmes or showing programmes through a video-link so as to still be able to provide a service and reach congregants

2.  Advise congregants to keep good hygiene

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “Cleanliness is half of faith”. With the COVID-19 outbreak, it is now more important than ever to advise congregants to:

  1. Avoid attending – strongly advise attendees to not attend if they have any symptoms of being unwell no matter how minor or trivial
  2. Avoid physical contact – educate attendees on avoiding handshaking, hugging and close physical contact
  3. Regular cleaning schedule – clean the building regularly and thoroughly, particularly the carpets and wudhu facilities using the appropriate equipment and products[7]
  4. Use hand gel – provide hand sanitiser throughout the building, especially at entrances
  5. Use disposable towels – advise using disposable paper towels if wudhu has to be done in the mosque, and remove communal towels from the wudhu area
  6. Prepare at home – recommend attendees to perform wudhu at home and bring their own prayer mats
  7. Read advice posters and resources – prominently display hand hygiene advice, in different languages if required [8]
  8. Identify and maintain an isolation room – for symptomatic attendees

3.  Support for socially vulnerable and isolated

“Social distancing” is a strategy designed to limit public interaction to delay the spread of the disease and limit its impact on health services. This can be from self-isolation as result of suspected COVID-19, or from not having the usual access to the mosque community and space. This isolation could affect the most vulnerable in our communities, in particular the elderly.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Seek out the vulnerable among you. Verily, you are only given provision and support due to your support of the weak.” (Tirmidhi). Therefore it is strongly advised to:

  1. Volunteers – identify volunteers who can support those who need support with daily activities e.g. buying food, deliveries, in case they have to self-isolate due to symptoms.
  2. Broadcast – consider broadcasting reminders and services on social media, radio and other media to maintain the link with the vulnerable during isolation.
  3. Regular check-ins – if necessary, establish regular pastoral support with the community via telephone or video-messaging to maintain morale.

What about madrasas/schools?

Current guidance does not support closing schools, but this too is highly likely and remains under constant review. Madrasas may wish to review the above guidance and follow it accordingly. Please be aware that whilst children are not thought to be severely affected by COVID-19, they can pass it onto elderly and vulnerable people.

What about Friday Jum’ah Prayers? Friday Jum’ah prayers constitute a large gathering and the recommendation to temporarily suspend them is very likely in the next few days. The current advice is not to suspend them, however a graded approach to reducing core services at the mosque is recommended to prepare the community for this (see action 1 above).

What about Muslim burials?

Current guidance from the National Burial Council is available on how to handle, wash and bury deceased Muslims who have died due to COVID-19.[9] It is important that mosques and the community are aware family members may not be able to attend the Janazah prayer due to selfisolation and should offer appropriate support/alternative arrangements for these families.

Will it affect Ramadan?

Looking at epidemiological data from other countries, it’s likely that the pandemic will stretch well into Ramadan during April/May 2020. Authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have decided to suspend iftar and itikaf in Masjid Al Haram at present. UK mosques must similarly prepare for the very likely possibility of suspending iftar programs and congregational tarawih prayers.

Update on Hajj and Umrah

The suspension on travel for Umrah in Saudi Arabia remains. If you have members of your congregation who were planning to travel for Umrah or Hajj, please advise them to contact their travel operator and monitor the situation with the Saudi government channels. The Council of British Hajjis has issued guidance on this.[10] The effect on Hajj this year remains uncertain. 

Please note: In situations such as this, there will always be a wide spectrum of opinions on what are appropriate precautions to take given the circumstances, so consulting your local scholars early is essential, as well as bearing in mind the importance placed in Islam on the preservation of life. We would advise everyone – especially those who may disagree with some of the above guidance – to weigh up their position against the impact in what may be a life or death situation, especially for the most vulnerable in our community.

Collated by:

British Islamic Medical Association
Muslim Council of Britain
Thursday 12 March 2020
[email protected]  











Covid-19 Advice

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Coronavirus Infographic for UK Muslim Community There is a lot of information circulating about the coronavirus. BIMA & MCB would like to advise the Muslim community to take these precautions as suggested by the NHS & experts. We have summarised key information in this infographic, but please be aware that the situation is changing often and is correct as of 05/03/2020.

Covid-19 Guidance for Mosques and Islamic Centres

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*This guidance is out of date*

The latest version is found here.

Asalaam alaykum,

We are writing to clarify the facts we currently know regarding the coronavirus, Covid-19, and how it is related to mosques in the UK. This guidance is equally applicable to other centres and congregational activities.

Currently we know that Covid-19 is spreading in the UK with the possibility it could spread rapidly. The government has recently increased the risk to the population from mild to moderate, and moved from a containment strategy to one of delaying the spread of the virus.

This is a rapidly evolving situation that has significant implications for the public, particularly in mosques where large numbers of people frequently congregate.

What is Covid-19?

SARS-CoV-2 is the technical name of this coronavirus, which is from the same family of viruses that cause the common cold. The initial symptoms it causes are similar to the viruses that give flu-like symptoms[1].

The virus is spread in the same way and has the same potential  complications. At present, the mortality rate is thought to be 3.4%. This is higher than influenza (<1%, which is typically the most serious type of viral illness), but this figure is often changing as new evidence comes to light from cases around the world. 

The illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is called Covid-19, and predominantly affects the respiratory system causing breathing problems. It is particularly dangerous in elderly people and those with pre-existing health conditions which makes them vulnerable. Most of the deaths from this virus across the world have occured in this group.

Our current understanding is that the coronavirus spreads in the saliva from an infected person landing on another, usually through coughing, sneezing or touching an infected surface. It is more likely to spread in crowds. There are cases where individuals have picked up Covid-19 without obvious exposure to known individuals or travel to affected countries.


Contact and travel guidance

At present, the advice from the UK government is that worshippers should not attend the​   mosque if they have:

  • been to the Hubei province in China, Iran, South Korea or Northern Italy in the last 14 days
  • flu-like symptoms (even if mild) and have returned, in the last 14 days, from mainland

China, Italy, South Korea, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam

  • flu-like symptoms and have been within 2 metres of a confirmed case of Covid-19[2]

In these instances, they should self isolate – that is to stay at home, not go out, and have no contact with the public – and visit NHS111 Online or call 111.[3] Do not attend your GP practice or pharmacy as this places others at risk. This information is constantly changing and mosques should be vigilant for updates. 

It is important to note that there has been recent legislation which allows employees to claim statutory sick pay earlier, but also laws to enforce isolation if advised by health professionals.

What about Umrah and Hajj?

Covid-19 is currently prevalent in many countries across the world and we know there is an increased risk of spread of the virus where there are crowds of people.

The Saudi Arabia authorities have, as of 4th March 2020, suspended Umrah for local residents and foreigners as a precaution to prevent the spread of the virus. This is not unprecedented in Islamic history due to outbreaks of disease, fire, and war. 

It is not clear at the moment how long this suspension will last, and there is a possibility this could affect Hajj this year, but at the moment there is no way of telling. We would advise keeping up to date on the latest travel advice for UK citizens to Saudia Arabia and to speak with your travel agent.[4]

If you hear of an [outbreak of] plague in a land, do not enter it; and if the plague occurs in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place​”

(Bukhari 5396)

The current advice is to avoid unnecessary international travel, particularly to & from areas or countries where there is a high number of Covid-19 cases.

Will wearing face masks help?

It is not advised to wear a face mask unless you are a carer of somebody who has Covid-19, or you have flu-like symptoms yourself and are wearing it to prevent the spread to others.

A mask is unlikely to help prevent catching the infection as masks are usually ill fitting, not changed regularly, and can actually make it more likely as the virus can sit on the mask surface increasing the chance of infection if touched.[5]

What about visiting the sick?

As we are unclear about the extent of the virus’ spread, nor who is ill with a common cold and who may have Covid-19, we must limit contact with those who are unwell during this period. Pastoral and communal support can still be provided via telephone and video, as well as assisting with activities that do not require close contact.

What should mosques do about congregational prayers and Ramadan?

At present there is no advice on restricting gatherings. However, there is the possibility that we may be advised to do so and/or quarantine certain areas. Now is a good opportunity for mosques to plan for such a situation and understand how it might work in practice.

If we were told as such by the authorities, we would expect the mosque committee and scholars to show clear, decisive leadership and follow the public health advice which may include considering the suspension of congregational prayers and events.

If the situation was to continue until Ramadan, the advice regarding fasting should follow similar religious rulings to other flu-like illnesses, based on the information we have at present (unless severely ill with Covid-19). We are likely to understand this disease better in the coming weeks so the advice on the risk to individuals may change. 

What measures can attendees take to protect against Covid-19?

Attendees should be reminded and encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, for 20 seconds, after touching surfaces or before eating. They should avoid touching their face, particularly after touching surfaces. 

They shouldn’t share items such as cups, utensils, towels etc. They should be advised to avoid close contact with others, particularly actions such as hugging and shaking hands when greeting each other.[6]

If they cough they should do so into their sleeve or a tissue, throw it away, and then wash their hands with soap. If attendees have a cough or flu-like illness prior to attending themosque, they should avoid attending to prevent the spread of a possible infection.​ 

What can mosque management do?

Mosque staff members and volunteers can help prevent the spread of infection by being vigilant​  with cleaning and reminding attendees to adhere to good hygiene measures. All surfaces that are touched by attendees should be getting regularly cleaned with a suitable disinfectant, including sinks, toilets, kitchen surfaces and carpets.

Disposable cloths should preferably be used, or reusable cloths that are disinfected after each use. A two mop bucket technique should be used, with one for detergent and one for rinsing, cleaning and drying them after use.[9] The building and rooms should be kept well ventilated at all times.

Displaying posters produced by public health bodies regarding hygiene and handwashing will help educate attendees and disseminate accurate information.[10]

Materials in non-English languages are forthcoming and will be available soon to download from the public health websites. Mosques should also consider having mechanisms to rapidly communicate with their congregation, if not already in place.

What to do if a worshipper becomes unwell while at the mosque?

In the event a member of staff or worshipper becomes unwell while at the mosque and has arrived from any affected countries or areas, or is identified as having had close contact with a​ confirmed case, they should be moved to a separate room for isolation.

This room should preferably be well ventilated with an open window, and one where the door can be closed. If it is not possible to isolate them in a room then they should be moved to an area at least two meters away from other people. If it is possible, provide them with a face mask and ask them to wear it.

NHS 111 should be called for further advice and the unwell person kept isolated until advised otherwise. At present, there is no need to close the mosque or send anyone who has been in contact with the unwell person home.

If the person needs to go to the bathroom whilst waiting for medical assistance, they should use a separate bathroom if available.  The bathroom should be cleaned with disinfectant before being used by anyone else. 


What steps should we take now?

Given the complexity and rapidly evolving nature of Covid-19 it is important we establish clear lines of communication between experts, scholars and mosques – should these not already exist.

Mosques should ensure they have plans in place as described above, including for contingencies in the event the guidance changes, and also start proactively educating their congregation and community.[7]

Currently there is no advice from authorities to avoid public gatherings. We know, however, that this virus spreads more easily in crowds and it is more severe in the elderly.

With a significant number of our congregation being elderly and the close proximity during prayer, we strongly advise informing attendees who have a new cough, shortness of breath, runny nose or fever, to stay away from congregational prayer and the mosque for the time being. This is​ to protect themselves but also our vulnerable members too, and to limit the spread of the disease.

We encourage mosque committees to share this document to help dispel false narratives that are circulating.[8] Mosques may also consider announcing key messages to the congregation before prayers and reinforcing current guidance.


How can we stay up to date with the latest information?

The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) is at hand to answer queries to help with the Muslim communities readiness to deal with Covid-19. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) also has a website with relevant information to help with decision making.[11]

This guidance is correct as of 6th March 2020 and is very likely to change in the coming days and weeks so please keep checking for updates.

The unity between mosques and our communities in times like these is essential. 

May Allah ﷻ protect us and our families, and give us tawfiq​  ​.






[5]​    u se-masks 




[9]  ​

[10] Public Health England​, ​Public Health Wales, Health Protection Scotland​, Public Health Agency Northern Ireland



bima-admin Statements Leave a Comment

We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of Dr Suresh. A family man, devoted colleague and experienced clinician – the circumstances around his suicide starkly highlight serious failures in investigating healthcare professionals accused of misconduct.[1]

The current system of investigation takes on the presumption of guilt until proven innocent; often results in immediate removal from work, loss of earnings and reputation; drags on through a byzantine process with multiple agencies taking years; and results in wearing down and effectively ruining the career of the accused. The system is not just broken, it is complicit in pushing many to the brink of suicide. [2][3] And for far too many, such as in the case of Dr Suresh, it has pushed them beyond that brink.

We strongly agree with the need to protect patients and the public from the misconduct of healthcare professionals, and recognise that complaints are a part of modern clinical practice. However, they need to go hand in hand with equally strong and rapid measures to protect healthcare professionals from the harms that come from being under investigation. Not to mention recognise the added stresses from dealing with vexatious complaints and false allegations.

This is especially important for healthcare professionals from minority ethnic backgrounds where the intersection of race, culture and faith leads to an experience where discrimination from patients, staff and institutions is more likely. Professionals from these backgrounds often struggle to access appropriate support, experience a greater proportion of complaints, and have a worse outcome compared to peers when under investigation.[4]

This is becoming a crisis with systemic failings seen in every case of suicide under investigation: these are not acceptable occupational hazards by any measure. We are calling on all the various bodies involved to do more than simply learn lessons. We need parity between the protection offered to healthcare professionals under investigation and the support to patients whilst investigating alleged misconduct. Anything less will mean more clinicians like Dr Suresh finding themselves unable to see a way out.

[1] BBC News. Coroner to write to GMC after doctor killed himself. 2020. [ONLINE]

[2] Bourne T, Wynants L, Peters M, et al. (2015) The impact of complaints procedures on the welfare, health and clinical practise of 7926 doctors in the UK: a cross-sectional survey. BMJ Open

[3] Horsfall S (2014) Doctors who commit suicide while under GMC fitness to practice investigation (General Medical Council, London)

[4] British Medical Association. 2020. This must be a turning point. [ONLINE] Available at:

BIMA Updated Position on Fluenz Vaccine

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The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) is an umbrella body aiming to unite Muslim healthcare professionals. Our role as BIMA is to ensure differences of opinions from jurists are respected; to inform scholars & the Muslim community on the importance of herd immunity, and vaccine efficacy, as well as the risks of illnesses like influenza and benefits of vaccination.

Influenza can kill and cause serious illnesses and BIMA advice is for all those who are elderly and at risk adults to have their injectable flu vaccination on an annual basis to protect against these illnesses. The injectable flu vaccine is permissible according to all Islamic jurists as this does not contain pork derived products. The intranasal flu vaccine for children, known as Fluenz, contains pork derived products.

There is ongoing concern in the Muslim community about the use of pork derived products in the intranasal Fluenz vaccine. This has been compounded by the market availability of a pork free alternative – an injectable flu vaccine – which commissioners have not made routinely available for children. BIMA advises all those who are concerned to consult local scholars & healthcare professionals that they trust in order to make an informed decision for their own children.

BIMA has been in conversation with Public Health England (PHE) to provide alternative options to parents of Muslim children in England who consider Fluenz impermissible. We are hoping to continue with these discussions with PHE so that those wishing to avoid porcine vaccines are not disadvantaged.

We would also like to clarify our position based on a leaflet circulated in 2015 which seems to suggest BIMA viewed the intranasal vaccine for children, Fluenz, as impermissible. This is not the case, as this is the remit of jurists – who in this case had summarised their views of its impermissibility with our input.

BIMA will continue to work with public health bodies in order to improve the low vaccination uptake in Muslim communities through education and lobbying for greater inclusion.

Job interview success – be yourself

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Image from qimono from Pixabay

By Dr Emma Wiley, microbiology registrar

Interviews can often be daunting as you prepare to present the best version of yourself in both a professional and personal capacity. The more you want the vacancy, the more stressful things can become. It’s always important to take a step back, breathe and remember to just be yourself. 

First impressions

I still remember the day I went for my Microbiology Specialist training interview for the Registrar post. I looked across the room to the rest of the group and saw a sister veiled in niqaab. I instantly felt sorry for her and thoughts about how she would ever get a job rushed to mind. “I doubt they will seriously consider her” I thought.

That morning, I had been contemplating about whether or not to wear my own hijab for the interview. In the end I concluded that if I wanted to be competitive in the field, maybe it was best I went without it on this occasion. 

We both got jobs. I got my third choice speciality selection and she got my first.  It was in that moment that I realised Allah is the bestower of rizq (provision) and I had horribly miscalculated. Within a few months I had committed to wearing hijab and that was how I began my Specialist training.

Growth and authenticity

Many years later I interviewed for a Consultant post. This time I was interviewing as me – hijab, no make up and a CV with the word ‘Muslim’ on it. I repeatedly wavered as to whether this was the right course of action, the difference being, I now knew that my faith was in Allah – Ar Razzaaq, the Sustainer.

I spoke confidently about voluntary work with various Islamic societies during the interview. I listed my BIMA dress codes work as the thing I was most proud of on the application form and founding ‘Muslim Women of Merton’ as a source of joy and satisfaction in my life. 

As I reflected on the interview process afterwards with my coach tears came to my eyes. It had taken courage to be authentic, to honour who I was and the things I truly valued. It was a risk I knew I had to take and I was aware it could have gone very wrong.


This time things had worked out, Alhumdulillah. I had been shortlisted for two jobs on the basis of that CV and I was able to turn down my second choice.

In interviewing for the post I was seen and heard in a way I had never been been seen and heard before during that interview – I’d been me. The Chief Executive later described my interview as one of the best Consultant interviews he had sat on and that I brought ‘joy’ to the Trust. The Medical Director said she was grateful I had chosen to apply to the Trust and that they were lucky to have me.

So my advice to all striving in the medical field as muslims is to be your authentic self through and through. Take risks where necessary and do not consume yourself or belittle your abilities in fear of Islamophobia – you might be just what they’re looking for! 

People recognise and value authenticity, no matter what package it comes in; be it hijab or niqaab. Be yourself, because only then can you be transformative.