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24 April 2024 / 15. Shawal 1445

Message from the President on COVID-19 Task Force

In the name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the Ever-Merciful

Respected Community Members

Salamun Alaykum

The spread of COVID-19, is a global concern that now affects us all. This is a newly identified virus from the “coronavirus” family that originated in animals. The first human cases were identified in Wuhan, China in late December 2019. However, over the last few weeks, this virus has spread alarmingly across the world with over 80 countries being affected.

I want to update you on how The World Federation and Regional Federations are making every effort to support our community through such turbulent times. This work is to compliment the extraordinary efforts that our Jamaats are doing worldwide.

Firstly, a quick re-cap: As is it not exactly determined how COVID-19 spreads, in line with public health guidance, we recommend you to continue to do the following:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

If you are suffering from fever, have high temperature, or have a new cough, please refrain from going out. Instead please take on the World Health Organization advice by isolating yourself and staying home. Familiarise yourself with, and follow, your local health authority’s guidance. 

As the crisis began to develop, The Word Federation Secretariat established a COVID-19 Task Force to ensure that we have a coordinated, integrated and seamless global strategic approach to this crisis. This enables us to discuss in a platform with the Regional Federations and to take appropriate steps to address the needs of the members of our community. Of course, implementations of any discussions happen locally but an overall set of guidance will prove inshAllah useful.

Our aim is to support a prevention and preparation plan is in place in all centres while preparing for the safety of all our members. We will InshAllah also be looking into providing support to our members such as spiritual and economic support.

The COVID-19 Task Force’s lead, Dr Akber Mithani, has been appointed by the Office Bearers. He will be accountable to the Secretary General. The Team consists of 2 individuals from every Regional (an Office Bearer and a Medical professional), a WF Health Representative from Secretariat and the Islamic Education Team and ad hoc representation of volunteers as and when required.

To-date, clear communication with specific recommendations has been circulated to members of The World Federation globally and in addition, there has been more information that has been circulated by Regional Federations and individual jamaats to their members outlining local public health advisories and specific steps to prevent the spread of this virus. Moreover, many of the Jamaats across the world have taken further precautionary steps such as full closures of programs and centers.

Our aim at all times is to listen to governmental guidelines advice in every region and to merry this with the recommendation of The World Federation task force’s religious and practical advice to provide actionable information that avoids panic, and to work hand-in-hand with the Regional Federations to support the fantastic and proactive work being done by Jamaats to keep their members safe and well.

In order to ensure full preparedness, the Islamic Education team has been in touch with the Office His Eminence Sayyid Ali Husayni Sistani (may Allah protect all our scholars), and have developed a comprehensive guide on how to handle mayyits that may occur. Please read the guide on “Medical and Religious Guidelines on the Transport & Handling of Dead Bodies (Mayyit) infected with COVID-19”.

Finally, on a personal note to all my community members, I urge you to look out for each other, especially those who are elderly or vulnerable. With the huge amount of COVID-19 information available on multiple media channels as well as social media, it is easy to express personal opinions or to share the unverified opinions of others. Even though this may be with the best of intentions, the effects can end up being counter-productive. We all have a duty of care to our families, neighbours and the community at large, so please be vigilant of this. I would also like to humbly remind you that we should place our trust in Allah (swt) - He is the Healer of all, and with our prayers, He will no doubt protect us all.

Lastly, the team has also been assisting those stranded Zawwar and Students in Qom. We will continue working with the Regional Federation representatives to help any cases that we become aware of.

I leave you with this dua, taken from our recent document on "Spiritual Guidelines on Dealing with Persons Infected with the Coronavirus":

Ultimately, we must pray for what is best for us according to Divine Wisdom, and our duty is to place trust in His Grace - Ghafir 40:44. 

أُفَوِّضُ أَمْري إِلَى اللَّهِ 
“I entrust my affair to Allah”

We must carry out our moral and religious duties to the best of our ability while praying for the best outcome and submitting to His Decree.

By taking the necessary precautions, praying sincerely, seeking refuge in the Ever-Merciful Lord (istighatha), and asking the Holy Masumeen (as) to interceded for us, we can be protected by Allah’s Special Mercy, insha’Allah.

Please remember each other in our Duas and seek Allah (SWT) blessings and guidance.

Salaams and Duas,

Anwarali Dharamsi
President of The World Federation

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