Ultimately, I fear that the COVID-19 pandemic will leave some of those who believe in a state of perpetual fear of anything and everything. Even now, in the United States some Muslims are speaking of waiting for zero risk before visiting masaajid. When a normal person should already know that there is hardly no such thing as zero risk. Heck, my 4 year old knows that there is no such thing as zero risk. Esurance, an American Insurance company reported that 77% of drivers in the United States have been in at least one car accident and that your chances of getting into a car accident during a thousand-mile trip are 1 in 386. However, with respect to catching the corona virus, statistically the risk factor may already be at zero.
According the the CDC’s website (Center for Disease Control), as of May 15th 2020, there have been 1,412,121 cases of coronavirus contractions reported in the United States. Of those cases, there have been 85,990 deaths reported. So approximately 0.61 of those cases, actually died from the virus. So there are 328,239,523 people living in the United States, so 0.026% of the U.S. population have died from the disease, and only 0.43% of the population has actually contracted the disease. There is no evidence whatsoever that being inside a Masjid, makes the virus any ore contagious than being inside a Wal-Mart, not withstanding that a person entering a Masjid to pray, is more likely to have washed their hands, their feet, their face, rinsed out their nose and their mouth than in just about any other place in America.
So basically, in following the most official data, that of the CDC, one would conclude that there is a less than a 1% chance of a person visiting any of the houses of Allah would contract the virus. There is something terribly wrong with this picture. Especially considering that not only have the majority of Muslims nearly abandoned attendance at the masaajid in their area, we have curtailed at least 20 aspects of congregational worship and religious activities over fear of contracting the COVID-19 virus.
The irony here is that while some Muslims are waiting until there is zero risk of catching the virus while visiting a Masjid for prayer, the available data from the CDC and other reputable heath and scientific agencies suggests that the risk is already below 0% or 1% at best, for an American Muslim worshipper visiting the houses of Allah (mosques) to catch the virus. The COVID-Pandemic may prove, after it’s al over to be the most egregious case of fear mongering and manipulation ever committed on a people, in the history of the United States of America. The King, is apparently wearing no clothes.
Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad
Imam Luqman Ahmad is an associate Imam and resident scholar at the Toledo Masjid al-Islam in Toledo Ohio. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org