After weeks of shutting mosque doors, the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) has partially re-opened some of its Islamic centers in the western Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia following an easing of restrictions on gatherings by provincial governments as result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Following the provincial directives, the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) is opening our houses of worship for 50 attendees or less in accordance with the Alberta Ministry of Health,” said the national organization in a press release.
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“We also resumed Friday prayers today, May 15, 2020, in accordance with safety regulations.”
“Safety at our masajid and centers is our first priority. As such, we are taking great care in instituting safety guidelines at our centers including pre-registered and/or by count staggered entry, screening sick or at-risk individuals, physically distancing congregational salah, and keeping an aggressive and consistent cleaning routine especially of high touch areas.”
Canadian Muslims, as all Muslims throughout the world, are grappling with the cataclysmic changes on their personal as well as their religious life brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mosques, Islamic centers and religious schools have been closed since mid-March and all communal services have been suspended.
This is particularly difficult for the community during Ramadan which is the Muslims’ holiest period of the year.
Meanwhile, in British Columbia, the MAC Vancouver Center has also partially opened its doors to 50 or less congregants. The mosque will open for the Friday Jumuah prayer service, and for Isha and the nightly Taraweeh prayers in Ramadan.
“Initially people will be admitted on a first-come-first-In basis,” wrote the organization in a press release outlining the procedures. “Later we may implement a booking system.”
“Maintaining social distancing of 2 meters (6 feet) from each other in all directions at all times. The prayers will be limited to Jumuah and Isha/Taraweeh prayers. The attendance is limited to healthy adult men and women from 15 to 60 year old. No children or youth below 15 years or seniors above 60 years will be allowed.”