Respected community members, Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakaatuh!
These are indeed very difficult times for all of us. We are faced with an unprecedented challenge, something seen never before in our lifetimes—a heart wrenching decision of having to suspend all activities at our Masjid, including daily salah and Jumu’ah prayers.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 in our cities, the different masajid and Islamic Centers in Greater Austin have worked together very closely to better understand the situation and offer advice and guidelines to our respective communities. This committee consisted of Imams, Health care professionals, Board members, and concerned members from the community.
On March 14th, the Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell, Jr., issued a proclamation declaring a local state of disaster for Williamson County. Pursuant to the relevant section of the Texas Government Code, there shall be no event or mass gatherings of fifty (50) people or more held in Williamson County. More importantly, events of any size can be continued only if they can be carried out in adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing, etc. This Order is applicable and in force until May 11, 2020 unless otherwise extended or terminated by the Williamson County Judge or action of the Williamson County Commissioners Court.
Today (March 17th), the City of Austin issued an ordinance limiting public gathering to 10 people or less. Please see relevant sections of the City of Austin Order below.
“Whereas, due to the substantial risks to the public, this Order prohibits Community Gatherings of 10 persons or more anywhere in the City of Austin beginning at 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, and continuing until May l, 2020, unless terminated or modified by an earlier Order.”
Also today (March 17th), a Travis County Judge issued a similar Order prohibiting any public or private Community Gatherings in Travis County. The restrictions is for any event with ten (10) or more persons at the same time in a single room or space. This is effective as of 12:00 pm today and until May 1, 2020, unless terminated or modified by an earlier Order.
In conjunction with other masajid in Greater Austin and after consulting with local Imams, the ICGA administration has decided to suspend congregational prayers (including Friday Jumu’ah prayer) as well as all programs and activities at our Center, effective immediately, until further notice.
Brothers & Sisters, this is a very tough decision for us to take. However, our community’s well being is of utmost importance to us. We trust we can continue to count on your cooperation and support during this difficult period. We pray to Allah (swt) to be with us all as we adapt to the rapidly changing environment and continue to serve and function in new ways as a community. May Allah (swt) protect you and your families, Aameen.