The Council of Shia Muslim Scholars of North America holds a conference annually, that brings…
Advisory Announcement by the Council of Shia Muslim Scholars of North America regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)Dear believers in North America, Assalamu alaykum, This year’s spiritual season of Rajab, Shaban and the month of Ramadan—with its special acts of devotion, prayers, fasting, and celebration of major religious events—unfortunately coincides with the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in different parts of the world, including some areas of North America. With the spread of this potentially dangerous virus in some North American cities, it is religiously incumbent upon everyone to take all possible measures to prevent its spread. The officials of Islamic centers, in conjunction with the health experts of the community, should monitor the risk level in their local areas and make decisions about continuing events or suspending them, as the spread of the virus is not uniform in North America. Islamic centers that continue their programs and events should constantly remind their participants of the precautionary protocol to protect themselves and others against the spread of this virus. We request the members of our religious centers to work together with their centers' management and volunteers in implementing whatever precautions and adjustments they deem necessary. We urge the respected believers who wish to attend the Islamic centers to observe the following:
- Avoid handshaking and hugging.
- Avoid bringing those who are the most vulnerable such as elderly people and those who have underlying chronic medical conditions.
- Those who are coughing or have a fever should remain in their homes until they are fully well.
- Avoid bringing and providing food and drink (as vows and donations) to the public, unless the safety of food is ascertained and after obtaining permission from the officials of the centers.
- The selfless volunteers who serve the congregations should also take precautionary measures to protect themselves and others and avoid serving if they have cough and fever.
- It is necessary to follow the health guidelines issued by health officials, including the need to wash your hands or cleanse them with antiseptics often and avoiding direct contact with items that are usually touched by many, such as doors and door handles, especially in public bathrooms. Rather, one should take caution by wearing gloves or using tissue paper to avoid direct contact.