Mosques use technology to help communities pray at home
While Muslim communities experience a Ramadan in lockdown, many local mosques are using technology to help their congregations stay connected online.
Taking to social media and video calling to share lectures, sermons and prayers, mosque leaders are encouraging their communities to pray at home during the Muslim holy month.
Masjid-E-Raza, which has two mosques on Randal Street and Oak Street in Blackburn, is using Facebook Live to broadcast its evening sermons and prayers. The videos are later shared on the mosque’s YouTube channel to reach people who don’t use Facebook.
Mohammed Khalil, Treasurer of Masjid-E-Raza, commented:
We’ve had to adapt how we communicate with our members, using different platforms to help them stay in touch and feel connected to the mosque. This is proving reassuring for our community at the moment.
Facebook Live is working really well for us, particularly being an interactive channel. Our members can ask the Imams questions during their sermons, and they get an answer there and then.
People can watch the videos back, on Facebook or on YouTube, at a time that suits them. Other mosques are sharing our videos with their communities too.
Masjid-E-Sajedeen in Little Harwood is broadcasting its sermons and prayers on the mosque’s new YouTube channel every evening during Ramadan.
The mosque’s madrasah, the early evening school for under 18s, is continuing its daily lessons to around 500 children and young people at home via video calling app Zoom. Mosque leaders have also provided some tablets to children who didn’t already have them.
12 year old Fuzayl Kola, who attends the Sajedeen Madrassah, said:
It’s good because I get to stay in touch with my friends, especially at this time whilst we are all in lockdown. My teacher also makes it fun and it’s not much different to learning at the madrasah.
Imran Amir, a committee member at Sajedeen mosque, who is also a manager at telecoms firm City Fibre, said:
While our members can’t come to the mosque, the mosque will come to them, reaching them in their homes. It’s helping them to still feel a part of the mosque community, which is very important during Ramadan, while staying safe at home.
Charitable giving is a large part of Ramadan for Muslims. Usually congregations would donate money in person at the mosque, but this year that’s not possible. We have set up a PayPal account that our mosque members can use to donate money to the charities we’re supporting this year. These include local NHS charities, as well as charities overseas.
Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, commented:
It is unfortunate that Ramadan this year has fallen during lockdown, but everyone has a duty to follow the Government’s request to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
It’s very encouraging to see the way mosques and madrasahs are using social media and technology to help their communities stay connected during what is normally a time when they come together in person more.
Moulana Rafiq Sufi, Chair of Lancashire Council of Mosques, added:
All communities including the Muslim community have been adhering to the government’s message to stay at home as well as co-operating with LCM guidelines.
It is great that many imams and scholars are delivering speeches and children’s lessons on a daily basis through the public address systems and other media platforms. I would urge them to continue to use these platforms to deliver key messages and spiritual guidance to the community.
A big thank you for all your support, cooperation, consideration and patience for taking immeasurable sacrifices in these important matters at these difficult times.