April 1, 2020
Sha’baan 8, 1441
Dear Leadership and Membership of the Community:
May Allah keep you and your families all safe and well in these troubled times and beyond. And shower upon you the blessings and protection of ‘Aafiyah here and in the hereafter.
I have sat on this mail for over a week. I think I should send it.
Just some thoughts that cross my mind, given the fact that I am not fully aware of all that is going on in the community. So, forgive me if I say things that are wrong, or out of place, or redundant.
And certainly nothing I say here should be construed to be a criticism of anyone, or of anything, or of any kind.
These are times when there needs to be visible a greater sense of community and bondedness among community members, beyond the usual circles of family and friends.
And there needs to be visible, also, signs of leadership being exercised on a regular basis.
First of all, there should be a ListServe kind of e-mail list for the community — IF WE DO NOT ALREADY HAVE ONE. And this list should be updated and revised as we go along, one name at a time.
Next, there should be some kind of communication every two or three days from the leadership of the community to all members, updating and sharing what they know of what is going on and addressing community concerns in general.
Third, there should be an attempt to organize Jum’ah Khutbah online: Digitally.
I do not know what arrangements exist, technological and otherwise. But it may not be a bad idea to start thinking of what is out there, and what is possible and convenient and available, from Skype to Zoom to WebEx to whatever else.
Fourth, regardless of Madh-Hab and Fiqh differences among community members, it may not be a totally wrong idea to think of organizing some kind of a Coordinated Collective Reading and Khatm of the Qur’an with the Niyyat or intention of asking God Almighty to ward off the menace of Coronavirus — and other diseases and Balaas and Wabbaa’s — from our community, from our city, and from our society.
Fifth, Allah’s Rasul, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, has said: Surah al Faatihah is a cure for everything and Yaseen serves the purpose for which it is read.
In addition to all the science, medication and research, which Islam asks us to pursue vigorously, the community may also benefit from the above Hadith.
Further, the community members may also be encouraged to recite the Three Quls every morning and every evening as regularly as they can.
Also, community members may be encouraged to recite three times, every AM and every PM, the following words of Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam:
Wa Laa Fis-Samaa-i,
Wa Huwas-Samee’ul ‘Aleeem.
Sixth, a team may be put in place whose members will rotate calling community members and checking up on them systematically, on a periodic basis, so we will be able to keep tabs on what is happening to people in our community, and provide them such help and advice as we are able to, should that become necessary.