This Ramadan has been a very different experience for Muslims around the world and in Birmingham due to the impact of Coronavirus and the celebration of Eid will also be different.
Since the 23 March 2020, following the UK Government’s official announcement that all places of worship should close, alongside the advice of both the Muslim Council of Britain and British Board of Scholars and Imams that Muslim communities must pray from home and not congregate together for worship, Mosques and communities across the UK have diligently and responsibly adhered to the guidance and advice which has continued for the duration of Ramadan.
Mosque leaders in Birmingham have been working extremely hard and have been instrumental in ensuring that lockdown measures are strictly adhered to in order to protect lives.
Your continued support with these difficult decisions has meant that collectively we have been able to:
- Restrict the spread of coronavirus in Birmingham
- We are beginning to see the benefit with deaths and new cases on the decrease
However, we are at a critical juncture where any easing of social distancing would risk another peak and undue all the hard work undertaken thus far.
Unfortunately, this means that restrictions cannot be removed foreseeable future and not before Eid this coming weekend. This means that congregational prayers within Mosques or outside in open spaces are still not possible.
Our clear guideline based on Public Health advice to continue protecting live, reduce the further spread of the coronavirus and risking a second peak is:
- That Eid is celebrated at home
- Not to hold congregational prayers on Eid day at Mosques, parks, open spaces or private gardens (two people from separate households constitutes a congregation)
- Not to visit family members and neighbours
- Adhere to the meeting of one person outside your household in open spaces rule
- Adhere to social distancing rules when visiting the cemetery
Please utilise the plethora of social media platforms that exist to celebrate Eid virtually with your family and friends.
In recent years we have seen a cultural event of Chaand Raath (night of the moon) taking place on the night before Eid. This has involved large numbers of people congregating to celebrate and mark the end of Ramadan and the arrival of Eid. Chaand Raath is a spontaneous event that has no official organiser or sponsor and this lack of coordination and planning presents a great risk for the coronavirus spreading.
With the current COVID-19 regulations preventing more than two people (not from the same household) gathering in a public space. We, therefore, request that people do not come out and put the health and safety of themselves, their families and of others at risk; this message
is endorsed by all the main mosques in Birmingham, Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police.
- Neighbourhood police officers and trading standards officers will be on duty to engage and explain that the event has been cancelled.
- Any person gathering in breach of COVID-19 legislation will be encouraged to leave
- Those who fail to take notice will be dispersed, fined up to £100 or as a last resort arrested.
Cemeteries and crematoria opening hours
All Birmingham cemeteries and crematoria grounds are now open at weekends for visitors from 12pm to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays, with the exception of Lodge Hill cemetery, which will open 3pm to 6:30pm on Saturdays and 12pm to 4pm on Sundays. Sutton New
Hall cemetery and Handsworth cemetery which will both be open 5:30pm to 8:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Those wishing to visit a cemetery or crematorium grounds should visit the Birmingham City Council directory for more information on opening times for each individual site. All sites are open on weekday evenings, from 4:30pm or 6:30pm depending on when services conclude.
It is essential to continue to follow Government advice on preventing the spread by regular hand washing and social distancing and guidelines on self-isolating. Birmingham City Council appreciates and respects the hard work our Mosques in the city are doing during this challenging time.
Click here to read the letter from Councillor Mohammed Azim, Lord Mayor of Birmingham and Councillor John Cotton.