Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA Heeds Call of Spiritual Leader in Responding to COVID-19
Compassion in a Time of Crisis
On Friday, March 27th, 2020, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifa (worldwide spiritual leader) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, continued his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time, His Holiness did not deliver his live Friday sermon that is broadcasted globally every Friday from the UK in respect to the social distancing policies recommended by the UK government. Instead, he delivered a special live message from his office for the worldwide community.
His Holiness said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world, including the British government, have stopped all congregational prayers. He pointed out that at present, the exact law is not clear, but until there is clarity, we cannot offer Jumah (Friday) Prayers at our mosques. Thus after consultation, His Holiness instead decided to deliver this message to all his followers around the world at this unprecedented time.
“We cannot for a prolonged period leave the Jumah prayer, and my connection with the Community is also essential,” stated the Khalifa in this globally broadcast message. In this condition, he said “Community members should offer congregational prayers at homes and also offer Jumah prayer with family.”
Relevant to this instruction, His Holiness narrated incidents during the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) when he instructed Muslims at that time to pray at home, such as the time when heavy rain created severe conditions. Thus, during this COVID-19 pandemic, His Holiness guided that everyone should continue congregational prayers and offering Jumah prayers at home in conformity with instructions from the government. He also made it clear that from an Islamic perspective, during contagious pandemics people should practice distancing and should take precautions.
His Holiness advised that while everyone is at home, they should spend their time increasing their knowledge by reading the Quran and other religious sources. The Khalifa emphasized that prayers are key and through them one can draw the grace of God. He reminded that the Promised Messiah and Founder of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (on whom be peace), had continuously instructed that the most important thing is that “we seek God’s forgiveness, cleanse our hearts and remain engaged in good works.”
His Holiness made arrangements for offering his Jumah prayers at home and ended his live address praying that this virus quickly subsides and that humankind makes the most of this time by helping one another in the best possible manner.
In accordance with the Khalifa’s call to help one another during this unprecedented time, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA is partnering with its relief organization (Humanity First) and its youth Auxiliary (Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association) to answer the call of those in need.
“During this time of an unprecedented national emergency, our mosques will remain open for essential services, including facilitating blood and food donations,” said Amjad Mahmood Khan, National Director of Public Affairs for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA. “Our youth association is also publishing flyers offering help to neighbors and community members isolated at home by delivering basic items such as groceries, first aid items, etc. to their homes.”
Through an online form (MuslimYouth.org/covid.php) the public can submit a request, and our youth take precautions when delivering the goods. Over 600 families have already been helped through this program, with plans to continue helping families in need. Humanity First USA has also distributed thousands of meals and hygiene kits and is in process of setting up more food pantries around the country.