Mosques welcome Muslims back in Covid secure way to celebrate Ahmadiyya festival Jalsa Salana

A mosque in Manchester is welcoming the Muslim community back to prayer as it celebrates one of the biggest events for the Ahmadiyya community.

The annual three-day Islamic convention known as Jalsa Salana usually sees around 35,000 travel to Hampshire.

But this year, because of the Covid pandemic, mosques across the country, and the globe, are linking up virtually.

To ensure the festival is safe the Dar ul Aman mosque in Hulme has partnered with NHS test and trace.

No one attending the festival is allowed in, unless they have been double jabbed and can provide a negative lateral flow test.

Those who have not done a test before arriving have to do one in their cars before coming in.

A man takes a lateral flow coronavirus test before entering the mosque.
Those who came into the mosque had to prove they had either been double jabbed, or had a negative Covid test. Capacity has been cut from 2,000 to just 240.

Dr Matloob Ahmad: “Our community is very keen to follow rules and principles laid down by the government.

“So although the government has eased lockdown our community is strict, so everyone has welcomed it because what we are doing is for the safety of mankind.

“Everyone is definitely happy.”

Leaders say they have not had an issue with encouraging the community to get on board, and local health officials say partnering with faith groups like this has been really successful.

Eleanor Roaf, the Director of Public Health for Trafford, says: “Particularly with some of our community groups and faith groups we’ve seen fantastic engagement in this and real enthusiasm for the vaccination programme.

“We’ve had fantastic support from many of our community leaders in trying to encourage leader to be vaccinated.”

As measures like proof of double jabs and negative tests could become a regular part of everyone’s daily life, those attending the festival say they are just happy their festival could go ahead at all.