More mosques around England have voluntarily shut their doors amid catastrophic casualty figures from the coronavirus pandemic.
At the moment government guidelines state that the public can attend places of worship for a service, although people must not mingle with anyone outside of their household or support bubble. They should also maintain strict social distancing at all times.
But despite this London Central Mosque shut its doors on Friday to “protect the overburdened strain on our NHS due to the sudden rise in COVID-19 cases.”
The mosque said one of the main objectives of Islam is the preservation of human life so it is asking everyone to stay at home and to follow government guidelines.
Earlier in the week East London Mosque closed to “put the safety of our congregation, our staff and our volunteers above our strong desire to maintain communal worship.”
“Our decision has been made in consultation with senior scholars, imams and ulama of the country. In Islam, the preservation of life is of the utmost importance and a key governing principle used to formulate rulings in the Shari’ah, as is the case here,” ELM said.
Several other mosques around London have also closed their doors. However, some scholars in London have said they support mosques which chose to remain open.
Meanwhile, in Lancashire, eleven mosques in Pendle paused congregational prayers in a bid to reduce the possible spread of the new COVID variant.
Councillor Mohammed Iqbal MBE, leader of Pendle Council, said:“We support this move as we’re seeing a growing number cases in Pendle. There are very worrying increases in hospital COVID cases, as well as, sadly, more people dying from this deadly virus. We must do all we can to protect people and support the NHS. We know that NHS and hospital capacity is under enormous strain across Lancashire.”
However, most mosques in Birmingham, Manchester and other areas remain open with strict restrictions.
A few days ago London mayor Sadiq Khan said places of worship in the capital should shut immediately because of the risks of COVID infection.
In a letter to the Prime Minister setting out his reasons for declaring a major incident in London, the mayor urged Boris Johnson to order places of worship to close, among other measures to tackle the crisis.
Coronavirus has hit the UK hard, with the country recording more than 3m cases and 80,000 deaths linked to the disease.