AMERICAN MUSLIM COVID LOSS SURVEY

On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus a global pandemic. Tragically, since that time, many community members have passed away from COVID-19, the disease caused by the Coronavirus. Recent data shows a clear and undeniable racial disparities in the rates of infection and fatalities such that in major American cities like Chicago, Detroit, NYC and Milwaukee, many Black/African American community members are dying at alarming rates. Further, many in Muslim communities around the country are considered "essential" or "frontline" workers which also places them at greater risk of exposure to the Coronavirus. At this time, we do not have sufficient information regarding the number of Believers who have tested positive for COVID or the number of people who have returned to Allah. We believe that it is important to have an accurate assessment of how this crisis has impacted us. We are striving to ensure that the American Muslim community is counted in understanding the toll this pandemic is having on our community, and in particular the services, support, resources we will need in order to heal from the grief and loss we are experiencing. 
 

The goal of this survey is to gather this information about deaths in American Muslim communities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have lost a loved one, please answer the questions listed below. The information will be treated with the utmost sensitivity and confidence. You can complete this survey even if your loved one was not *formally* diagnosed with Coronavirus or COVID-19.

This survey will remain open for the duration of the pandemic. 


This effort is currently being spearheaded by:

 

with support and collaboration from:

 

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Zakat Foundation has created this memorial wall to honor loved ones who have passed from COVID-19. We ask Allah to shower ease, comfort and healing on those who are mourning. Submit a memorial here.

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RESOURCES & NEWS

JANAZAH GUIDELINES

Ghusl and Janazah Procedures for COVID-19 - Shariah Board of NY | March 22, 2020

Canadian Council of Imams - Ghusl and Burial Guidance | March 22, 2020

Prayer and Funeral Issues Pertaining to COVID-19  - The Fiqh Council of North America | March 24, 2020

British Islamic Medical Association Ghusl Guidelines for Deceased | March 30, 2020

Pathway to Follow For Preparing Deceased During COVID Pandemic - British Islamic Medical Association | March 30, 2020

 

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

Dealing with Grief During the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Alexandra Spirer | PsychologyToday.com | April 15, 2020

Currently we are in unprecedented times where we are being told to stay at home and only go out if we are “essential” to the workforce which are mostly those in public service such as policemen, firemen and those on the front lines at hospitals such as doctors and nurses.

With the Pandemic no one has told us how to deal with grief. Grief isn’t just about grieving for a loved one who was lost but it is also about dealing with the uncertainty that millions of people around the world are dealing with as we speak

 

Understanding Grief in the Age of the COVID-19 Pandemic 

by Amy Morin, LCSW | VeryWellMind.com | April 13, 2020

In addition to the anticipatory grief that people may be experiencing, people may also be struggling with the grief caused by the unexpected death of a loved one. Under normal circumstances, we turn to others in our lives for support. We might gather with friends and family to cry, share happy memories, and offer care and support to one another. The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on many of these rituals. This inability to engage in traditions that support the grieving process can make it that much more difficult to cope. Factors associated with the nature of the virus itself can also complicate the emotions that people experience.

Coping With Death During a Pandemic

Michelle Drouin Ph.D. | Psychology Today | March 26, 2020

In addition to the anticipatory grief that people may be experiencing, people may also be struggling with the grief caused by the unexpected death of a loved one. Under normal circumstances, we turn to others in our lives for support. We might gather with friends and family to cry, share happy memories, and offer care and support to one another. The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on many of these rituals. This inability to engage in traditions that support the grieving process can make it that much more difficult to cope. Factors associated with the nature of the virus itself can also complicate the emotions that people experience.

 

IN THE NEWS

Coronavirus: NYC Muslims struggle to hold traditional burials

by Jillian Kestler-D'AMours | April 14, 2020

The crisis has touched thousands of grieving families, virtually all of which have been forced to navigate chaos after their loved one's death from the deadly respiratory virus. The funeral process can be even more complicated for Muslim New Yorkers, who make up about three percent of the population across the city's five boroughs, because a series of religious practices guides the burials.

How coronavirus is changing the ways we grieve and mourn the dead

by Alex Ward | Al-Jazeera | April 7, 2020

Many Muslims feel the same way. Imam Ibraheem Bakeer, from the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City, told me that it’s customary in Islam for friends and family to gather and pray over the body of the deceased. Because of social distancing, that can’t happen — and it’s also why Bakeer is restricting visitations to no more than three people at a time. Bakeer said he’s faced a lot of backlash for that decision. “It’s very tough, but our job is to convince these people and give them the conviction that we are in a bad situation and in critical circumstances,” he told me. “We can’t do the regular things, and they have to understand this.”

Coronavirus Is Changing The Rituals Of Death For Many Religions

by Lauren Freyer, Daniel Estrin, Jane Arraf | Vox | April 7, 2020

For both Muslims and Christians, deaths are normally followed by three days of condolences held in large tents or mosques or church halls. With the family surrounded by relatives, friends and neighbors, outpourings of grief are expected and often encouraged.

But with the pandemic, such public gatherings of grief are no longer allowed.

"It took eight days to get the body of my father from the morgue," says Abdul-Hadi Majeed, whose father died of COVID-19 in a Baghdad hospital in March. "It was very difficult arranging the burial."

Coronavirus is changing how American Muslims hold funerals

by Umar A Farooq | Middle East Eye | April 6, 2020 

"We've changed our procedures from washing [the body] to tayammum," said Nasir Saleh, who runs Alfirdaus Janazah Services, a Muslim funeral and burial service, in Lorton, Virginia. "And then we use a bag to cover the body so we can do the tayammum on top of it," he told Middle East Eye.

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*Initiative launched by Muslim Wellness Foundation and Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative
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© 2020 | Collaboration between Muslim Wellness Foundation and Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative