On 18th March, Council for Mosques advised that congregational prayers and gatherings at Masjids and madrassas across Bradford & Keighley should be suspended to limit the spread of COVID-19. The following week, the government placed the whole country in a strict lockdown, banning any gathering of more than two people who were not resident in the same household. The early advice of Council for Mosques was rigorously adhered to by its members and, by the grace of Allah SWT, Bradford’s Muslim community has been spared the worst of the pandemic so far.

The blessed month of Ramadan has been a particularly testing time for Bradford’s Muslim community. But, we have remained steadfast in adhering to Government advice, serving to save more lives and suffering. As we enter the last week of the blessed month of Ramadan, we have now begun to consider how we can conduct our Eid prayers.

In normal circumstances, Eid prayers would be held in Mosques and in some cases, open spaces. However, due to the Coronavirus, Government regulations stipulate that places of worship should remain closed to the public. Religious gatherings of more than two persons from two different households are also prohibited.

According to the most recent modelling carried out by Public Health England and the University of Cambridge, both the North East of England and Yorkshire currently have the highest infection rate in England.

In light of this, allowing Eid prayers in mosques, parks or open spaces would place attendees, their families and friends at increased risk from the Coronavirus. It would also be in breach of Government regulations.

The advice being issued regarding the congregational Eid prayer from various Islamic networks overwhelmingly suggests that in the current situation, which remains unprecedented, congregational Eid prayers are not possible. We must continue to heed government guidance and medical advice.

In keeping with all of the above and after considering the advice from Bradford Council and NHS partners, Council for Mosques strongly recommends that all Eid congregational prayers in mosques, parks and open spaces should not be held under any circumstances.

This is a decision that the Council for Mosques does not take lightly but reflects the continuing risks to the health of the Muslim community.

For further guidance regarding what prayers you may be able to do in the absence of congregational prayers at mosques with the members of your family in the privacy of your home, please take guidance from the Imam of your local mosque.

Stay at home. Pray at home. Save lives