Shaykh Ahmad Faruq Siddiqi, is a chaplain at The Royal London Hospital and he spent the peak of the pandemic facilitating virtual last farewells and prayers for dying loved ones and their families.
The chaplains across the trust played a vital part during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic and worked tirelessly to support families and patients through the difficult and emotional time.
Patients and staff have sung Faruq’s praises; he has been described as a “phenomenal” support for staff and the heart of the hospital, working on our critical care and Covid wards here and at NHS Nightingale in Excel, at any time of day or night patients and staff needed him.
One family member who has praised Shaykh Ahmad Faruq Siddiqi, is Munadiah Aftas, whose grandfather, Mr Shamuz Miah, sadly died from Covid-19 on 29 March.
Munadiah explained that Faruq was pivotal in making sure the family had good regular communication with their Grandfather while he was in hospital, something that could have proved difficult due to the visitor restrictions that were put in place in order to help keep people safe from Covid-19.
Faruq set up video calls with all of Shamuz’s loved ones, from across the world, so they could speak to him before he passed away, as well as organising Shamuz’s favourite food to be taken to him whilst he was in hospital.
When Shamuz sadly passed away, Faruq organised another call with all the family, so they could be involved while he performed duas (prayers), a profound act of worship in the Islamic faith.
Munadiah said: “Imam Faruq came as a saving grace and a beacon of humanity at a time that was so uncertain for us all. We’ll be forever grateful for what he did for us and feel we can never repay him.”
Faruq shared: “I am very fortunate to be part of a wonderful multifaith chaplaincy team who were all extremely busy helping patients, families and staff during the pandemic. To be with patients and families at their most time of need and to support them is a great honour and privilege. During Covid-19 we had to improvise using technology to ensure that families were still connected and received their spiritual care. I felt it was important to carry on providing this crucial support despite the risks to enable families to receive some comfort”.