Walsall mosque leads way in adapting to coronavirus changes

A Walsall mosque has shown how it has adapted to safety regulations around coronavirus.

Aisha Mosque and Islamic Centre was one of the first mosques to cease communal prayers and close down due to the spread of coronavirus in March.

It had also, according to Dr Hammed Lodhi, secretary general of UK Islamic Mission and a committee member, been preparing for reopening long before the government announcement around communal services.

Essam Suffar applies cleaning spray on the prayer floor following prayers. This occurs after every prayer session.

Dr Lodhi said: "As the government was preparing to relax guidelines, we were in touch with the national bodies of the Muslim community to organise reopening, so we were ahead of the curve.

"To be able to reopen the mosque was a significant milestone as we had put so much work in over the last few months to prepare everything."

More Covid-19 coverage:

The mosque welcomed worshippers back on July 10 and has taken a number of measures to ensure social distancing guidelines are met.

These include a requirement to wear face masks, using disposable prayer mats, having sanitising stations at the entrances and a one-way system for entering and leaving the mosque.

Other changes included the closure of the cleaning facilities and toilets at the mosque and shoes required to be carried in a plastic bag on entry and exit.

The mosque has also introduced a booking system for prayers, with three iteration's of Friday prayers taking place to a limited capacity of 130 people, with clear markings on the floor to indicate where worshippers can go.

Tanveer Akmal, Dr Hammad Lodhi, Mosque president Shabir Hussain, Imam Muhammed Saeed and Mohammed Arif, chair of the Union of Muslim Organisations in Walsall, have worked hard to ensure the mosque is compliant with all safety guidelines

Shabir Hussain, chairman of the mosque, said the reaction from those attending had been very positive.

He said: "They appreciate the work we'd done here to get the mosque ready and understood why certain facilities were not available due to health reasons.

"They're delighted to be back in the mosque after so long and appreciate the fact we're looking after them, with no negative thoughts at any point.

"It's all part of our religion and our way of life to help everyone and be a community leader and I think it's working out so far."

Worshippers are asked to pre-book their prayer time and a barcode is scanned before entry is allowed

The Imam Muhammed Saeed spoke about how combining three prayers together helped people to do their prayers and feel safe while doing so.

He said: "It's little steps toward a new normality and we feel that Allah has given us an area of choice by letting us do these prayers together.

"We've taken the precautionary measures to make sure we don't spread the disease any more and I think we can do everything within this limit to help people."

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News