This report includes three items:
We have been asked by the Swiss journal Religions to edit an entire issue devoted to the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad; this will give us an opportunity to further open up the field of scholarship on this crucial subject.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind our Signatories and Observers that The Covenants of the Prophet Training Course is now available on the website of the Covenants of the Prophet Foundation at https://covenantsoftheprophet.org/the-covenants-course/ We invite you to consider taking this course as part of your Ramadan devotions.
We have conceived of a practical response to the Covid-19 pandemic that Muslims might wish to explore. It is more particularly directed to North American Muslims, but the basic concept it could be applied anywhere in the world. Here it is:
A Muslim Response to the Coronavirus:
The Covid Corps
Asalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
To U.S. Muslim Leaders:
Greetings of peace. After reading the news stories about the devastating effects of the covid-19 virus on the immigrant communities in the borough of Queens in New York City, many of whom are Muslims—a population that is now facing not only disease but serious food shortages—the Covenants of the Prophet Foundation would like to make the following proposal:
We propose that a kind of domestic Peace Corps be created to provide services to those in our most vulnerable communities who are affected by the covid-19 virus, either through infection, fear of infection, or economic collapse due to the effects of the covid-19 response. Members of this task force should be recruited from those who have recovered from the virus and now test negative, or others who have been shown to be immune by a reliable antibody test. The Covid Corps could provide food and useful information, check the condition of vulnerable shut-ins, and perhaps provide rudimentary medical care. There might well be a way to pay the expenses of this effort out of the covid-19 stimulus funds. If U.S. Muslim leaders were to put out a call for volunteers for such a task force, even before it is fully formed and as a catalyst for its organization, this would be a powerful testimony to Islam as a force for good in the world. And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds (Q. 21:107). The Muslim Covid Corps would best be organized and managed by existing agencies who are in line for stimulus funds, but if Muslim leader were to publicize this idea and (at one point) call for volunteers, this could have a truly inspirational effect. In any case, the notion that recovered covid-19 cases could be tapped as a labor pool to serve those still infected is an obvious strategy that deserves wide implementation. It is our belief that Muslims should come forward NOW with this offer of service, leaving its exact method of execution to the future. The need is there, so it is likely that this offer will be well received.
We at the Covenants of the Prophet Foundation are tasked with the duty of publicizing the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Peoples of the Book, which clearly demonstrate the very spirit of mercy and justice and chivalry (futuwwah) that could make the Covid Corps a conspicuous success. In light of the Prophetic Covenants we also suggest that part of the efforts of the Covid Corps be directed toward serving the needs of Christians, Jews and the members of other religions who are also suffering the effects of this pandemic.
If anyone feels moved to respond to this call, the next step would be to draft a letter containing this plan to be sent to and signed by U.S. Muslim leaders, a letter that could then be forwarded to the President, the Speaker of the House, other members of Congress, the CDC, the state governors, mayors etc., as well as to the media. We invite interested U.S. Muslim leaders to send their responses to this proposal, along with any criticisms or suggestions, by replying to this email. We have neither the desire nor the resources to manage a program like this; our entire role at this point is simply to spread the idea and see how U.S. Muslims respond.
ALL RESPONSES TO THIS PROPOSAL ARE MORE THAN WELCOME.
Charles Upton, Executive Director
The Covenants of the Prophet Foundation