This week mosques were being advised to stop large gatherings and congregational prayers.

It was the Muslim Council of Britain who came out first to call for a suspension of prayers to fight the spread of the coronavirus. This unprecedented move came after public health advice on 16 March of stopping 'non-essential contact' with others and the Chief Scientific Advisers advising the public to avoid gatherings 'big or small.'

This week that advice was taken up by other local and regional mosque councils who advised that prayers should be suspended for the benefit of all members of the wider community.

A number of mosques decided to take appropriate measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.

All mosques were urging anyone (of any age) who has symptoms (constant cough or temperature) to not come to the masjid at all. They are also encouraging worshippers to pray at home and stopped the use of the wudu area. There was also a call to not shake hands.

Jummah times were restricted and mosque worshippers arriving at 12.40pm were waiting patiently to gain entry at the allotted time Evening Islamic classes have been closed.

All this has to be commended.

Why then today did we have Jumaah prayers being held at some larger mosques in the UK? And why are some Islamic scholars issuing calls for prayers and gatherings to continue?

This week whilst there were calls for the suspension of prayers, a number of Islamic scholars and clerics ridiculed this advice.

What is clear is that these people were not being dictated by religious edicts as such but more by the emotion that comes with these opinions.

Larges parts of the Islamic world have already taken on board the concerns of the wider health of their own communities but it was sad to see some of these clerics passing judgements based upon their own selfish needs.

Let me be clear, the mosques are not being closed. Prayers are not being banned. They will remain open. Only the congregational prayers are being suspended and this only for a certain period of time.

What we are hearing from some imams is that this familiar Islamic rhetoric looks to set common sense advice against Islam.

I have read numerous posts this week which suggests that the ‘closing of the mosques’ is some great conspiracy theory by some unknown powers which are trying to stop Muslims from praying.

This is preposterous but you would be surprised at the number of people who have shared this false narrative as it helps them to feel they are supporting the wider Ummah.

These very same people think everything that happens is against Muslims and Islam.

These are only precautionary measures which are being taken to help stop the spread of a disease that affects ALL people of ALL backgrounds.

We are not giving up prayer. We are not giving up Islam. We are not abandoning our religion. Those who choose to take heed from advice which is for the betterment of their whole community are not following the orders of the ‘kuffar.’ We are also not giving up our hopes in the Almighty.

To continue to hold gatherings in the face of common sense advice is not only selfish but is evident of how many mosques are being dictated by people who think little of the very community they serve.

The coronavirus is only a few months old but the most simple advice we have been told is two fold – increase your hygiene and take part in a level of social distancing.

In a month’s time we may well look back at this period and realise that there was a level of panic and we overreacted. Or in a month’s time we may look back and say we could have well done more.