The Australian Islamic Medical Association in collaboration Quakers Hills Masjid brought together health professionals and imams on Friday 8 October 2021 to discuss COVID-19 infection and transmission risk in mosques and Islamic centres and measures to reduce the risks as the mosques are allowed to re-open in NSW.

READ: AIMA Mosque Reopening Recommendations

The online event moderated by Shaykh Youssef Hassan was attended by AIMA members Dr Fariha Dib, general practitioner, Dr Asif Raza, intensive care specialist, Dr Imran Haque, respiratory specialist, Dr Mohamed Assoum, infectious disease epidemiologist and public health researcher and Dr Habib Bhurawala, Paediatrician.

Dr Wajdi Hadi and Dr Naim Islam, members of AIMA, also attended this session.

Grand Mufti of Australia Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, Shaykh Ahmed Abdo from Australian National Imam’s council (ANIC), Shaykh Abu Hurairah, Imam of St Marys mosque, Shaykh Dr Shabbir Ahmed, Imam of Masjid Qubaa and other scholars, masjid committee members and a large number of community members including representatives and office bearers of various community organisations spoke at the event.

The programme commenced with the welcome from Shaykh Youssef Hassan provideing an overview of the current situation regarding mosque re-opening and the need for such a session. Then he invited Dr Ibrahim Abu-Mohamed, Grand Mufti, who spoke about the importance of consultation with health experts to minimise risk to the worshippers when masjids re-open and quoted from Islamic history about the contribution of Muslim surgeons and physicians in the field of Medicine.

Shaykh Ahmed Abdo summarised and reiterated Grand Mufti’s message.

Dr Asif Raza, Sydney based intensive care specialist, NSW co-ordinator and central executive committee member of AIMA, welcomed everyone and provided a brief update on the event’s purpose, especially the imminent re-opening strategy for NSW and needs to have appropriate plans and processes in place for mosques and Islamic centres in NSW.

Dr Asif Raza further explained that the objective and purpose of AIMA is to unite and inspire Muslim health professionals in Australia. In addition, he stated that AIMA members wish to serve and contribute towards the welfare of Muslims and the broader Australian community.

Dr Mohamed Assoum and Dr Imran Haque gave a short presentation followed by an interactive Q&A session where Dr Fariha Dib, Dr Asif Raza, Dr Habib Bhurawala and Dr Wajdi Hadi contributed.

They pointed out the precautions that would be recommended using available published research, protocols and information from national and international sources in both mosque and church settings.

They have also discussed at-risk populations and other preventive measures that can be taken to minimise harm. This session generated significant interest from the participants.

The seminar program concluded with a vote of thanks by Shaykh Youssef Hassan.

Recording of this session and details of other activities conducted by the Australian Islamic Medical association is available on the website: www.aimamed.com.au