Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As the Jamat knows, on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Government of Tanzania confirmed additional cases of the Coronavirus in Tanzania and Zanzibar. The Prime Minister of Tanzania, His Excellency Kassim Majaliwa announced specific measures and directives to be taken to reduce the risk of transmission. One of these directives was the encouragement of citizens to minimize large gatherings. Similarly in Zambia, the Minister of Health, Honorable Dr. Chitalu Chilufya confirmed the country’s first cases of the virus on the same day and highly recommended practicing social distancing.
In adherence to the guidelines and directives, and in the interest of the safety and wellbeing of all, it is with a heavy heart that we inform the Jamat that all Jamatkhanas in Tanzania and Zambia are closed effective immediately, until further notice.
While this may be disconcerting, we have a sense of comfort that we as a community are taking preventative steps for the safety and security of our loved ones and the wider community amongst whom we live. As Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, our Jamatkhanas, in addition to being places for our worship and congregation, are also the focal point for our interaction, social gathering and a multitude of other activities. We are therefore very mindful that we are all going to miss coming to Jamatkhana and our social engagement, which we have all got so accustomed to after Jamatkhana ceremonies.
One may suggest these are unprecedented times and unique events in our lives, and therefore it is the time to take inspiration from our history and continue our regular practice of faith and further continue to offer our allegiance and shukhrana to our beloved Imam-E-Zaman.
Our bond of brotherhood and unity as one Jamat is strong and will remain strong in these testing times. In line with the ethics of our faith, we humbly request that while we may be physically distanced, we keep connected, especially with the elderly and others who are more vulnerable in our Jamat.
On behalf of all the Jamati institutions, we urge you to practice caution, apply suggested hygiene procedures in your daily activities and get your information from reliable sources.
The National Council continues to monitor the situation, and, based on the government’s directives, international guidelines, global best practices (World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control) and lessons learnt and shared from other affected countries, we will continue to keep the Jamat regularly updated through SMS messages and relevant communication channels.
We would like to inform the Jamat that all appointments that were ending on 21st March 2020 will continue to the period ending 11th July 2020.
For any assistance related to health, you may reach out to The Aga Khan Hospital hotline at 0785 749 359, or The Aga Khan Health Board helpline at 0743 110 114 or 0745 110 785. All lines are open 24/7.
We continue to pray for the good health and wellbeing of murids worldwide, and for Mushkil Aasan. Ameen.