Fatwa: # 44374
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Date: 16th March 2020

Title

Coronavirus - Should Congregational Salaah continue?

Question

assalaamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu

Please can the honourable ulema 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 masjids.

The virus can remain asymptomatic for around 14 day and other in other cases researchers suggest that the incubation period may even be upto 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 congregrational prayers at home and limit their attendance and praying in public masjid setting? Except understandably Friday Jumah, Taraweeh, `Eid prayer unless an individual has been advised to self-isolate based upon medical professional assessment or advice.

CDC on Covid19 transmission: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html

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 hadith,

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 Ahadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). The following hadith is an eye-opener and thought provoking.

عن عبد الله بن عمر قال: 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 tawbah 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.

  • Perform wudhu at home
  • Restrict physical interaction with people at the Masjid
  • Implement a rigorous cleaning schedule to ensure the cleanliness of the Masjid at all times.
  • The Masjid should be regularly disinfected
  • 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 Salah with congregation.[1]

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

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 Salah 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 Salah with Jamaa’ah for the ill as well as those who have symptoms of the virus.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Bilal Yusuf Pandor

Student Darul Iftaa

Lusaka, Zambia

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 


الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (1/ 661) [1]

(قوله وأكل نحو ثوم) أي كبصل ونحوه مما له رائحة كريهة للحديث الصحيح في النهي عن قربان آكل الثوم والبصل المسجد. قال الإمام العيني في شرحه على صحيح البخاري قلت: علة النهي أذى الملائكة وأذى المسلمين ولا يختص بمسجده - عليه الصلاة والسلام -، بل الكل سواء لرواية مساجدنا بالجمع، خلافا لمن شذ ويلحق بما نص عليه في الحديث كل ما له رائحة كريهة مأكولا أو غيره، وإنما خص الثوم هنا بالذكر وفي غيره أيضا بالبصل والكراث لكثرة أكلهم لها، وكذلك ألحق بعضهم بذلك من بفيه بخر أو به جرح له رائحة، وكذلك القصاب، والسماك، والمجذوم والأبرص أولى بالإلحاق. وقال سحنون لا أرى الجمعة عليهما. واحتج بالحديث وألحق بالحديث كل من آذى الناس بلسانه، وبه أفتى ابن عمر وهو أصل في نفي كل من يتأذى به. ولا يبعد أن يعذر المعذور بأكل ما له ريح كريهة، لما في صحيح ابن حبان عن «المغيرة بن شعبة قال انتهيت إلى رسول الله - صلى الله عليه وسلم - فوجد مني ريح الثوم فقال: من أكل الثوم، فأخذت يده فأدخلتها فوجد صدري معصوبا، فقال: إن لك عذرا» وفي رواية الطبراني في الأوسط «اشتكيت صدري فأكلته» وفيه: فلم يعنفه - صلى الله عليه وسلم -، وقوله - صلى الله عليه وسلم - «وليقعد في بيته» صريح في أن أكل هذه الأشياء عذر في التخلف عن الجماعة. وأيضا هنا علتان: أذى المسلمين وأذى الملائكة؛ فبالنظر إلى الأولى يعذر في ترك الجماعة وحضور المسجد، وبالنظر إلى الثانية يعذر في ترك حضور المسجد ولو كان وحده اهـ ملخصا

أقول: كونه يعذر بذلك ينبغي تقييده بما إذا أكل ذلك بعذر أو أكل ناسيا قرب دخول وقت الصلاة لئلا يكون مباشرا لما يقطعه عن الجماعة بصنعه

 

تنقيح الفتاوى الحامدية (7/ 414)

قَالَ الْإِمَامُ الْعَيْنِيُّ فِي شَرْحِهِ عَلَى صَحِيحِ الْبُخَارِيِّ فِي بَابِ مَا جَاءَ فِي الثُّومِ النِّيءِ وَالْبَصَلِ وَالْكُرَّاثِ قُلْتُ : الْعِلَّةُ أَذَى الْمَلَائِكَةِ وَأَذَى الْمُسْلِمِينَ فَيَخْتَصُّ النَّهْيُ بِالْمَسَاجِدِ وَمَا فِي مَعْنَاهَا وَلَا يَخْتَصُّ بِمَسْجِدِهِ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ بَلْ الْمَسَاجِدُ كُلُّهَا سَوَاءٌ عَمَلًا بِرِوَايَةِ مَسَاجِدَنَا بِالْجَمْعِ وَشَذَّ مَنْ خَصَّهُ بِمَسْجِدِهِ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ وَيُلْحَقُ بِمَا نَصَّ عَلَيْهِ فِي الْحَدِيثِ كُلُّ مَا لَهُ رَائِحَةٌ كَرِيهَةٌ مِنْ الْمَأْكُولَاتِ وَغَيْرِهَا وَإِنَّمَا خَصَّ الثُّومَ هُنَا بِالذِّكْرِ ، وَفِي غَيْرِهِ أَيْضًا بِالْبَصَلِ وَالْكُرَّاثِ لِكَثْرَةِ أَكْلِهِمْ لَهَا وَكَذَلِكَ أُلْحَقَ بِذَلِكَ بَعْضُهُمْ مَنْ بِفِيهِ بَخْرٌ أَوْ بِهِ جُرْحٌ لَهُ رَائِحَةٌ وَكَذَلِكَ الْقَصَّابُ ، وَالسَّمَّاكُ وَالْمَجْذُومُ وَالْأَبْرَصُ أَوْلَى بِالْإِلْحَاقِ

وَصَرَّحَ بِالْمَجْذُومِ ابْنُ بَطَّالٍ وَنَقَلَ عَنْ سَحْنُونٍ لَا أَرَى الْجُمُعَةَ عَلَيْهِمَا وَاحْتَجَّ بِالْحَدِيثِ وَأَلْحَقَ بِالْحَدِيثِ كُلَّ مَنْ آذَى النَّاسَ بِلِسَانِهِ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ وَبِهِ أَفْتَى ابْنُ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى عَنْهُمَا وَهُوَ أَصْلٌ فِي نَفْيِ كُلِّ مَا يَتَأَذَّى بِهِ وَلَا يَبْعُدُ أَنْ يُعْذَرَ مَنْ كَانَ مَعْذُورًا بِأَكْلِ مَا لَهُ رِيحٌ كَرِيهَةٌ لِمَا رَوَى ابْنُ حِبَّانَ فِي صَحِيحِهِ عَنْ { الْمُغِيرَةِ بْنِ شُعْبَةَ انْتَهَيْت إلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَوَجَدَ مِنِّي رِيحَ الثُّومِ فَقَالَ : مَنْ أَكَلَ الثُّومَ ؟ قَالَ فَأَخَذْتُ يَدَهُ فَأَدْخَلْتهَا فَوَجَدَ صَدْرِي مَعْصُوبًا فَقَالَ : إنَّ لَك عُذْرًا } ، وَفِي رِوَايَةِ الطَّبَرَانِيِّ فِي الْأَوْسَطِ { اشْتَكَيْتُ صَدْرِي فَأَكَلْته } ، وَفِيهِ { فَلَمْ يُعَنِّفْهُ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ } . ا هـ .

وَفِيهِ مِنْ الْبَابِ الْمَذْكُورِ قَوْلُهُ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَلْيَقْعُدْ فِي بَيْتِهِ صَرِيحٌ فِي أَنَّ أَكْلَ هَذِهِ الْأَشْيَاءِ عُذْرٌ فِي التَّخَلُّفِ عَنْ الْجَمَاعَةِ وَأَيْضًا هُنَا عِلَّتَانِ إحْدَاهُمَا أَذَى الْمُسْلِمِينَ ، وَالثَّانِيَةُ أَذَى الْمَلَائِكَةِ فَبِالنَّظَرِ إلَى الْعِلَّةِ الْأُولَى يُعْذَرُ فِي تَرْكِ الْجَمَاعَةِ وَحُضُورِ الْمَسْجِدِ وَبِالنَّظَرِ إلَى الثَّانِيَةِ يُعْذَرُ فِي تَرْكِ حُضُورِ الْمَسْجِدِ وَلَوْ كَانَ وَحْدَهُ .

 

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