Question # 467: Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh, Please the government in my country have eased restrictions and we are now allowed to pray in the masjid observing social distance. All the mosques nearby have started prayers but none is observing the social distancing protocol that was outline for us to pray safely. I am afraid I may contract the disease going to the mosque. Do I continue to pray with my wife at home or I should go to the mosque? I really need guidance please.

bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: If anyone fears that he may be harmed or may harm others, it is permissible for him to not attend the Friday prayer and prayers in congregation, because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said in a sound hadith, “There should be neither harm nor reciprocating harm.”; in which case, it is permissible to offer the prayers at home. (Fatwa by Council of Senior Scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Long Answer: The Council of Senior Scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in their twenty-fourth extraordinary meeting, which was held in the city of Riyadh on Wednesday 16/7/1441 AH [(March 11, 2020)], examined the questions that were presented to them regarding the concession of not attending Friday (Jumu‘ah) prayer and congregational prayers in the event of an epidemic or fear of an epidemic. After studying the issue in the light of the Islamic texts and the objectives and guidelines of shari’ah, and in the light of statements of the people of knowledge regarding issues of this nature, the Council of Senior Scholars has issued the following statement:

  1. It is prohibited for a person infected with this virus to attend Friday prayers and prayers in congregation, because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “Sick (camels) should not be put with healthy (camels).” (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim), and because he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “If you hear of the outbreak of a plague in a land, do not enter it; and if it breaks out in a land in which you are, do not leave it.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
  1. If a specialized body determines that medical quarantine or isolation is to be imposed on someone, it is obligatory for him to comply with that, and do not attend Friday prayers or prayers in congregation. Therefore, he should offer prayers at home or in a place where he is quarantined. This is because of the report narrated by as-Shareed ibn Suwayd ath-Thaqafi, who said, “Among the delegation from Thaqeef there was a man with leprosy. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) sent word to him, saying, ‘We have accepted your oath of allegiance, so go back.'” (Narrated by Muslim)
  1. If anyone fears that he may be harmed or may harm others, it is permissible for him to not attend the Friday prayer and prayers in congregation, because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “There should be neither harm nor reciprocating harm.” (Narrated by Ibn Majah) [A hasan hadith related by Ibn Majah, ad-Daraqutnee and others as a musnad hadith. It was also related by Malik in al-Muwatta in mursal form from Amr bin Yahya, from his father from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), but leaving Abu Sa’eed from the chain. And it has other chains of narrations that strengthen one another.]

In all these cases, if he does not attend Friday prayer, he must pray Dhuhr with four rak‘ahs.

The Council of Senior Scholars advises everyone to follow the instructions, guidelines, and protocols issued by specialized bodies. They also advise everyone to fear Allah, the Most Mighty and Exalted, and to turn to Him in supplication and humility, and to ask Him to grant relief from this tribulation.

(The above reply is provided by Islam Q&A on a similar topic)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam