How is it to close down the mosques for Jum’ah [Friday prayer] and the daily salāh due to the Coronavirus [COVID-19]? How should Jum’ah and salāh be performed in such a case? Can Jum’ah be prayed at home?
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
In such circumstances, mosques should not be closed until the time the government has made it law for them to be closed. At the moment, mosques should keep the daily and Jum’ah salāh established in a congregational format alongside precautionary measures [bringing your own prayer mats, performing wudhu at home, praying sunnah and optional prayers at home, not hugging and shaking hands, etc]. If the government makes it law that mosques as well as any institutes be closed, then instead of Jum’ah, one should pray Dhuhr [at home], and keep the congregation limited to only the staff [at the mosque], so that some form of the remembrance of Allāh Almighty remains continued in the mosques. Everything should not be totally shut down, leaving the mosques deserted; for all one knows, we could be included amongst the unjust.
Allah Almighty states,
وَمَنْ اَظْلَمُ مِمَّنۡ مَّنَعَ مَسٰجِدَ اللہِ اَنۡ یُّذْکَرَ فِیۡہَا اسْمُہٗ وَسَعٰی فِیۡ خَرَابِہَاؕ
Who is more unjust than the one who prevents the Name of Allāh from being mentioned in the mosques of Allāh, and strives to ruin them?
[Sūrah al-Baqarah, Verse 116]
It is stated in Khazā’in al-‘Irfān in the Tafsīr – commentary & explanation – of this that the one who does not allow the remembrance of Allāh & salāh in mosques, then he is the one who has caused the mosques to become abandoned and is an extremely unjust person.
Those committees which have already closed the mosques down [prior to any government restriction] and suspended their activities for the general public on the basis of Islamic reasons, due to the fact that their insurance is not covering them [in terms of public liability etc], and it being difficult for them to put precautionary measures in place for such large gatherings, so they should not be called any bad names or scolded. Even then, I beg with both my hands held together that if it is possible for one to hold congregational salāh instead of Dhuhr, but alongside precautionary measures – the mosque being open for such youngsters who are not inflicted with any symptoms of the Coronavirus [COVID-19], and them only praying the Fard with congregation; then praying any remaining salāh at home. Doing this would mean the mosques would not be closed and one would remain protected from the Coronavirus. According to the research of doctors, the Coronavirus [is more likely] to affect the elderly, [those with existing health conditions] and those who have a weak immune system, therefore such people should only stay at home and worship.
Jum’ah cannot be established at home; rather, Dhuhr salāh should be prayed in place of this in a congregational format alongside praying the Adhān & Iqāmah, on the basis that there are two individuals or more.
One should not pray Jum’ah with only a few limited amount of staff members by closing the mosques for the general public, as the condition of general permission for entering is not found; rather, one should in fact pray Dhuhr in a congregational format in place of Jum’ah.
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Published: 21st March 2020