Over 650 Face Masks Donated to Local Community

Over 650 Face Masks Donated to Local Community

From the start of the pandemic, volunteers at Colchester Islamic Community Centre (CICC) came together to set up CICC Sewing-Bees and have been hard at work hand-crafting reusable face coverings to distribute, free of charge, to vulnerable people within the Colchester community. The idea for the project was sparked during the first lockdown, following a call to check on the welfare of a CICC member. The member had tested positive for COVID-19 and the whole family had to isolate. At that time, it was difficult to find facemasks, as they were in short supply, and those available were expensive for people of restricted means. A call for volunteers was put out and the CICC Sewing-Bees was formed. After extensive research on what types of fabrics would be suitable for protection and breathability, appropriate fabrics were sourced, initially from members attics and storage cupboards. But supply soon ran out and fabric needed to be bought – not so easy during lockdown. The team of 12, began sewing masks, setting themselves a target of 50 masks.

With their hard work and dedication, this target has been repeatedly exceeded and more than 650 masks have already been donated between C360, Colchester Food bank, Colchester and Braintree Homeless Shelters, First Stop Centre, Beacon House, Firstsite, Refugee Action Colchester and children and adults with special needs. Volunteers have stated, how being part of the Sewing-Bees has been such a meaningful experience; and one noted how happy it made her feel to contribute positively to society. Another volunteer described how great it was to come together, to make a difference by “limiting the virus spreading in our community & to save lives”. We are delighted that the Sewing-Bees continue to this life saving work with their motto ‘Stitch to save lives and livelihoods’.

COVID-19 and Colchester Islamic Burial Procedure

COVID-19 and Colchester Islamic Burial Procedure

In light of the high number of COVID-19 deaths we have clarified the burial process for our deceased, fulfilling both government and Islamic requirements. Whilst no Muslim burials have taken place in Colchester, we have had losses within our community, in neighbouring towns. We want to reassure our members that steps have been taken to ensure we are prepared to support our community through this. 

The key features of COVID-19 burial process in Colchester are:

1-            Deaths can now be registered on the telephone within 5 days

2-            Contact the funeral directors and Colchester Mosque

Funeral Directors : Hunnaball 01206 760049

Colchester Mosque: Imam Shamsul Islam 07758 003257

Koysor Chowdhury 07907701495

or Bashir Goni 07912026383

You can also contact Colchester Mosque to be put in touch with the Community Bereavement Support Group . 

3-            The deceased will be taken directly to the Funeral Directors (not to deceased home or masjid).

4-            Hunnaball of Colchester Funeral Directors allow us to perform the washing and shrouding of our deceased with full PPE protection (max 2 persons) and for family to see the deceased (max 2 persons at a time).

5-            Deceased will be taken directly to the Cemetery (not to the Masjid) for burial. Solaatul-Janazah will be performed at the Cemetery.

6-            Colchester Cemetery allows Islamic burial with shroud only (no coffin required). Max 10 persons may attend burial. No PPE necessary but 2m social distancing applies. Please do not attend if you are suffering with coronavirus symptoms, self isolating or shielding.

We have formulated a Burial Guidance Document to allow greater understanding of what happens and to fully prepare in the event of someone in the near family passing away.

It features a Practical Guide of what needs to be done, fulfilling both government regulation and Islamic requirements. Thereafter it goes through the complete Islamic rites of passage, including the relevant prayers.

May Allahﷻ  bestow His infinite Mercy upon us, Pardon our faults, Cure our sick and allow our deceased, eternal paradise without reckoning. Ameen.

Jazakummullah Khair.

Keeping connected – to our Almighty Creator and to each other…

Keeping connected – to our Almighty Creator and to each other…

Sometimes we underestimate how connected we are as a Muslim Ummah. The bond which unites us together brings us closer to each other than we could ever imagine.

Alhamdulilah, on Sunday 5th April, twenty plus brothers came together to join our first weekly Brothers’ Online Meet Up.

In our session we focussed on:

  1. Our connection to Almighty Allah SWT
  2. Our connection to each other

We began with everyone informally introducing themselves. As nearly everyone there had been trying some YouTube courses to improve their connection with Allah, we took some feedback and encouraged each other to continue learning and developing their connections to Allah

Then we touched upon why it’s so pertinent to connect to Allah.

Check our 8-part short video clips from the session

So, we appreciated that, if we want to become better Muslims, we do need to actively focus on improving our connection to Allah.

This requires a basic understanding of our soul and the spiritual world. The more we develop our awareness of Allah, the more we notice the effect of this even in the physical world…

This insight is incredibly powerful.

2 ways of learning

  1. Information
  2. Activation

In the physical world we often learn through information. However, activation is actually much quicker.

How to have more activations

All Muslims will have different types of activations throughout their spiritual journeys. However, it is possible to actively seek activations

There are 3 courses on YouTube which are especially effective at delivering these activations:

  1. Quran course – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6Fz9W-eTyRduWfbqKDSrMMYOzoGLnGSX
  2. Gratitude course – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6Fz9W-eTyRfHWiXaZNJ15v3E-GXXKIDI
  3. Dua course – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6Fz9W-eTyRf3MyrhPjwYa-vZtGtkunsE

Breathing properly

Whilst on our spiritual journey, we’ll realise that breathing is very important.

On Sunday we all did a breathing exercise together. Please bear in mind, that although you may think you are very competent at breathing, you probably can still improve a LOT.

Unconscious energy

This term is used in the breathing video above. It’s useful to be able to notice this…

Keep in mind that we often are a little scared of our mistakes. So, we’ll unconsciously avoid them – at all costs. Once we give this avoidance a name, it becomes much easier to notice it and to easily navigate around it.

Live activation

On Sunday, we had a live activation session. Together, we learnt to make a dua to Allah, to help us concentrate whilst reciting the Quran. We also noticed unconscious energy and had many insights on how to be more connected to Allah.

Impact awareness

We finished the session by bringing awareness to the importance of community. We all encourage each other and we all depend on each other’s support.

It’s also useful to be aware of the impact which you’re already having on others. We will call this “impact awareness”. Notice the positive impact you have on your kids/parents/siblings/relatives/friends and your environment.

Appreciating your current impact makes it easier for you to enhance your impact.

I really enjoyed hosting the class on Sunday. I’d like to mention that it can only happen if you guys attend and really try and join in as much as you can. I really appreciate the positive vibe all the brothers maintained throughout the session. It really made it enjoyable.

I hope you all take benefit from the free courses on my YouTube channel. They will help your spiritual journey  I look forward to seeing everyone at 2pm every Sunday until 7th June.

Book your places of the Brothers’ or Sisters‘ Sunday Online Meet Ups!

Rekindling your friendship and love with the Qur’an

Rekindling your friendship and love with the Qur’an

We are now in our third week of lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Activities we’d usually be running have moved online and my first session at the Sisters’ Weekly Qur’an and Tajweed class has truly helped me to rekindle my love and friendship with the words of our Lord and Creator, the Holy Qur’an. Alhamdulillah.

At times like these no companion is greater than the Qur’an and no people more beloved than those dedicating their time and investing in our sisterhood, like Sister Dhuha with the wonderful support of Sisters Hasna and Wafa. May Allah SWT elevate them in His rankings and grant them the best of this life and the hereafter. Ameen.

Now that we are approaching Ramadhan, I couldn’t recommend these sessions enough as a way to boost our spiritual health and wellbeing. Join our WhatsApp group to find out how to join the sessions or email Shoomi@ciccentre.org to get more info.

#StaySafe #StayHome #Reconnect

Staying connected during Lockdown

Staying connected during Lockdown

Our community has thrived by staying connected regularly, whether that was through weekly Qur’an and Arabic classes, monthly coffee mornings, lecture series or our annual meet ups over Ramadhan, the AGM and the Sisters’ Conference. We are now living in a completely different reality, one that has added so many restrictions on the way we, as a community stay connected and in touch.

In sha’ Allah the current situation is temporary and Allah swt will keep us all protected in our health, wealth, wellbeing and families. Ameen.

One way CICC is trying to keep us connected is through our Sisters’ and Brothers’ Sunday Meet Ups over Zoom. Our weekly sisters’ sessions are taking place at 11am with the brothers’ sessions, hosted by Imam Habib Ahmad, starting later at 2pm.

After just one session, we can see how much it benefits our community to meet up and stay in touch. Our first sisters’ session was a great chance to check in and see how we were all coping with this new and extraordinary way of life. We discussed everything from our worries around working in the NHS, having loved ones working in the NHS, the impact of working from home, being out of work, having children home, and the things we were doing for our own wellbeing to stay safe and healthy in mind, body and spirit.

We discussed how we were able to make time for the things that mattered like concentrating in Salah more, reciting the Qur’an more often, with our kids and keeping extra fasts in order to prepare for Ramadhan and make our food shops last longer. We also discussed supermarket anxiety and how scary it was to queue up and stand too close to others. This was a chance to signpost to CICC’s COVID-19 Support, who can help with getting your shopping if you’re alone, anxious and/ or vulnerable. We as a community are always here for you and we hope we can all become closer through this massive test from Allah SWT.

Please take a moment to see the dua that was requested in the session and add your own dua in the comments below. May Allah SWT accept it from us. Ameen.

Don’t forget to sign up for next week’s meet ups for sisters and brothers.

To all our members keeping us safe and keeping our communities going

To all our members keeping us safe and keeping our communities going

CICC is proud to be made up of some of our regions most courageous key workers who are not only keeping our communities going during these unprecedented times but saving lives and livelihoods.

Our membership is a diverse and vibrant one, made up of Muslims from many backgrounds. We are extremely grateful to over 70% of our membership who make up the key workers keeping our local NHS services thriving, keeping their local grocery and food businesses running and keeping schools and day cares open to take care of the children of key workers.

From all of us at CICC, we want to say a massive thank you to all the people working on the frontlines, who are risking their own health and safety to keep us going during this global pandemic.

May Allah SWT reward you in abundance for all the good you do and keep you and your loved ones safe, healthy and prospering. Ameen.

We hope we can all do our part to make sure your jobs are not stretched anymore than they already are and that together we can #StayHome #ProtectTheNHS #SaveLives #FlattenTheCurve