Covid 19 Statement from the Chair of Governors
Dear Pupils, Parents, Staff and Friends: Asalaamualaikum wa rahmatullah.
Feversham Academy has moved all classes online and many of our staff members are currently working from home supporting pupils’ remote learning. Our school is now being run as a Community Hub to support the children of key workers and vulnerable others in Bradford. The situation is developing daily and Feversham is responding as necessary to the changing needs of our city. We will keep you updated through our website.
The Department for Education have instructed all schools to close due to the Covid 19 pandemic for we know that the virus has the potential to spread rapidly and impact on populations, especially for vulnerable individuals. Feversham Academy strongly recommends our pupils, families and staff take precautions.
As an Islamic faith school it is useful to share an Islamic perspective on safeguarding public health since the teaching and principles of Islam are designed to benefit all humankind.
Islam is a holistic belief system and takes into account the physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of individual and societies. Throughout history human kind has been affected by plagues, wars and natural disasters and will continue to do so in the future. In fact, epidemics are mentioned at least twice in the Quran – in the second chapter (Al Baqarah) and in the seventh chapter Al A’raf (The Heights). Protecting human life is one of the fundamental objectives of Islam: preserving human life and protecting those around us is essential. Part of protection relates to cleanliness. Islam has been described as the religion of cleanliness – indeed, cleanliness is described as half of faith. The Quran states:
‘Truly God loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves.’ (Quran 2:222)
More than 1,400 years ago, Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) introduced rules and recommendations for personal hygiene and cleanliness that promoted the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. He taught his followers hygiene practices and instituted strategies that are today being implemented by public health authorities. For example, his teachings show that Muslims were encouraged to keep the body fresh and clean with Muslims instructed to pay particular attention to being clean before praying (minimum five times a day); to washing their hands before and after eating (Abu Dawud), upon waking in the mornings (Sahih Bukhari) and to cover their faces when sneezing.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also gave us specific guidelines on how to respond to epidemics. His hadith show that he advised quarantine, social isolation, travel bans and restrictions on movement. Such preventative measures were evident, for example, when he advised the members of Banu Thaqi’f tribe when they were suffering from leprosy. He commanded the Muslims not to travel to places known to be affected with illness and he advised those in contaminated areas or communities not to leave and spread the disease further afield, saying:
‘If you hear that there is a plague in a land, do not enter it; and if it (plague) visits a land while you are therein, do not go out of it’ (Sahih Bukhari; Sahih Muslim).
He also advised ill people not to visit healthy people (Sahih Muslim). Although care of the individuals is important, safeguarding communities, including its weakest members, is of paramount importance. In fact, fear of one’s safety and the safety of others is a genuine Islamic reason to forgo even some of the fundamental collective Islamic rituals and to maintain social distance. Hence, Muslims are asked to avoid shaking hands and embracing, to reduce their social visits, congregations and gatherings as precautionary and preventative measures. Even devotional acts such as daily and weekly congregational prayers, including those for funeral, Taraweeh and Eid can be temporarily halted to reduce the spread of this virus and the infection. Thus, we see that infection control is inherent in Islamic hygiene behaviour and that measures taken in the 21st century to prevent the spread of infections and viruses echo the hygiene and infection control practices taught by Prophet Muhammed (pbuh).
Finally, the Qur’an reminds us that life is a test and encourages us to turn to God in prayer in times of trouble, to reflect, to think and to be constant in our prayers and to display high moral character and behaviour in safeguarding ourselves and others in the family and community. Just as an athlete trains in preparation for the test of tournaments similarly, a believer’s prayer exercises his or her soul, so when the test comes, the soul doesn’t just survive it but is calm and responds constructively and with hope. Prayer abides as our greatest weapon against fear, panic, and despair. We know that if anything troubled or alarmed the Prophet (pbuh), he hastened to prayer. So let us also try to see the opportunities and the blessings within this crisis and respond positively. Let us try to reassess what is valuable in life and to get closer to God’s bountiful gifts that we so often take for granted – health, security, sustenance, mobility, family, friends and faith.
We continuously pray to God for safety and protection from all illnesses, for guidance to follow His way, and for peace, wellbeing and success for all in the community.
I thank you for all your hard work, flexibility and your support. May God bless each one of you and may you and your loved ones be safe and well during the trials of these times.
Mr Ahsan Khan
Chair of Governors