CoronaVirus | Should Congregational Salaah Continue?

Q&A.Darulmahmoodnet

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Question:

Please can the honourable Ulama provide some proactive guidance on what steps one should take in light of the Coronavirus – Covid19 outbreak and address potential concerns that people may have in terms of congregating at Masaajid?

The virus can remain asymptomatic for around 14 days and other in other cases researchers suggest that the incubation period may even be up to 24 to 27 days before symptoms such as fever, cough and respiratory issues become apparent. Besides those with evident signs and diagnosed with the virus being contagious, it does not rule out that those in the asymptomatic stage may also be contagious but to a lower degree. The virus is spread or caught – if Allah permits – via droplets in the air.

Taking into consideration that this virus based upon existing trends and reports has substantial potential to spread rapidly in the community; should otherwise healthy or asymptomatic individuals take precaution and offer some of their congregational prayers at home and limit their attendance and praying in public Masaajid settings? Except understandably Jumu’ah,Taraweeh & Eid prayers unless an individual has been advised to self-isolate based upon medical professional assessment or advice.

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh

It is our belief that a sickness does not spread by itself. It is stated in a Hadeeth,

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: لَا عَدْوَى

Translation: “Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said, there is
no contagiousness (in sicknesses).” (Bukhari-5772)

A virus comes into existence with the order of Almighty Allah.

Whilst there is much assumption on the actual cause of the virus, we as an Ummah should analyse the cause of the virus from the Ahadeeth of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). The following Hadeeth is an eye-opener and thought provoking.

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ أَقْبَلَ عَلَيْنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ يَا مَعْشَرَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ خَمْسٌ إِذَا ابْتُلِيتُمْ بِهِنَّ وَأَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ أَنْ تُدْرِكُوهُنَّ لَمْ تَظْهَرِ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي قَوْمٍ قَطُّ حَتَّى يُعْلِنُوا بِهَا إِلاَّ فَشَا فِيهِمُ الطَّاعُونُ وَالأَوْجَاعُ الَّتِي لَمْ تَكُنْ مَضَتْ فِي أَسْلاَفِهِمُ الَّذِينَ مَضَوْا

Translation: “Abdullah ibn Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) turned to us and said: ‘O Muhajirun, Immorality never appears among a people to such an extent that they commit it openly, but plagues and diseases that were never known among the predecessors will spread among them.” (Ibn Majah-4019)

The world is presently experiencing an unprecedented pandemic. It is time for us as an ummah to introspect, make Taubah and avoid all forms of immoralities such as adultery, fornication, pornography and abuse of electronic devices. Almighty Allah says,

اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارًا

(نوح: 10)

Translation: “Seek forgiveness from your Lord. Indeed, He is Ever-forgiving.”

 

Shari’ah also advises us to take precautions during a plague and virus. Hereunder are some suggested precautions :

1. Perform Wudhu at home
2. Restrict physical interaction with people at the Masjid
3. Implement a rigorous cleaning schedule to ensure the cleanliness of the Masjid at all times.
4. The Masjid should be regularly disinfected
5. Individuals that are infected or show symptoms should not attend the Masjid. It is incumbent upon them to stay away from the Masjid until they are cured of the virus. Likewise, the elderly and those with weak immune systems will be excused from attending Salaah with congregation.

 

Shari’ah has also emphasised performing Salah with Jamaa’ah (Congregation). See the following Hadeeth :

عن أبي هريرة: أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال

ولو يعلمون ما في العتمة والصبح، لأتوهما ولو حبوا

Translation: “If the people knew what reward awaits them for coming to the Masjid for Isha and Fajr Salah, they would come to it even if they had to crawl.”

(Bukhari-615)

If one misses out Salaah with Jamaa’ah for no reason, he will be sinful. One should not use Coronavirus as an excuse to not attend the Masjid without a reason. However, we reiterate, there is exemption to perform Salaah with Jamaa’ah for the ill as well as those who have symptoms of the virus.

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Mahmood | darulmahmood.net