GOVERNMENT’S NEW RISK ADJUSTMENT STRATEGY

It is painfully sad for all of us to witness the temporary closure of our Masaajid (Mosques) in South Africa and across the Ummah (International Muslim community) due to conditions necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. This feeling of sadness and longing for the spirit of togetherness that the congregational prayers evoke in the Masjid, is especially felt now during the month of Ramadaan.

However, the principles of the preservation of Deen (Islam) and life is uppermost in our Shari`ah (Islamic Law) and this remains our primary objective. Whilst we are conscious of the fact that COVID-19 infections are rising daily, as the status of the pandemic shifts on the ground, the application of the principles of preservation of Deen and human life, continues to apply within this context of the changing conditions of society.

With this in mind, UUCSA endeavours to work with government to create safe and viable conditions for the return to congregational worship for our community that are based on sound medical expertise and an evaluation of the risk levels as set out in government’s risk- based adjustment strategy.

We will be engaging soon at a national level with, amongst others, the Minister of Health in this regard.

We thank the Muslim community as a whole for adhering to the unprecedented call of government to abide by the lockdown regulations and urge one and all to remain patient and continue doing so until the conditions for a safe return to congregational worship has been established.

This lockdown and the Covid19 pandemic will continue to have a harsh economic impact on our fellow countrymen and women for the foreseeable future. Alhamdulillah, our Muslim community have been at the forefront of meeting the needs of the poor and vulnerable in South African society.

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala reward us all for our efforts and grant us the strength and courage to continue to alleviate the hardship and suffering of our compatriots.

The United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) notes the judgement handed down by the High Court of South Africa (Gauteng Division, Pretoria) on 30 April 2020. UUCSA was admitted as a friend of the court in this matter by agreement between the parties.

It will be recalled that an application was brought by two individuals and an institution to declare unconstitutional certain provisions of the lockdown regulations relating to gatherings and the movement of people insofar as it relates to congregational worship. The applicants’ also sought urgent interim relief for one mosque in Meyerton to be opened for congregational prayers pending the amendment of the lockdown regulations in the event of a finding of unconstitutionality. The application was dismissed. There can be nothing but sadness in our hearts, at the ongoing closure of our Masaajid due to the Covid pandemic.

We continue with du`a (prayer) that Allah, the Almighty, eases the plight of all humankind, restores peace and safety to our masaajid and our country and that He (Glory be to Him) enables us to always be agents of His mercy and compassion. Ameen.

1 May 2020