Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
Coronavirus is a contagious disease that has infected almost 1.1 million people
and killed more than 59,000 worldwide. To avoid this pandemic, it is imperative
for every citizen of the world to adopt social distancing. According to medical
science-research, this virus rapidly spreads from one person to another.
Therefore, several countries worldwide have called for lockdown and social
distancing for protection of the people from the deadly infectious virus.
no disease can affect anyone without the will of Allah Almighty. This is the
faith that nothing can happen in the world without the permission of Allah
Almighty. However, at the same time, on the part of human beings the
precautions and safety-measures are must, as Allah Almighty says in the Quran,
“And do not cast yourself into destruction” (2:195).
the Coronavirus, we must adopt whatever is the best measure. We will be then
obeying the divine command of life-protection from destruction. In the light of
the Ahadith related to the contagious epidemics, we can keep active both
teaching of our faith and of action. Teaching of Faith is that even the
contagious disease does not affect without the will of God Almighty, and the
teaching of action is that social distancing should be maintained in times of
reported by Sa’ad that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
said, Translation: “If you hear of a plague in a land, then do not go into it.
If it happens in land where you are, then do not go out of it.” (Source: Sahih
al-Bukhari 5396, Sahih Muslim 2218)
several other Ahadith which encourage social distancing, isolation and
quarantine in times of the plague or contagious diseases, in addition to
seeking forgiveness from Allah Almighty. The medical science and experts in the
developed countries are suggesting the same advice to avoid the epidemics as
was given by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) 1400 years ago. For the
human beings it high time they succeed in their fight against the corona virus
by seriously implementing the methods guided by Allah Almighty, the Lord of all
Worlds and the Last Prophet (peace be upon him), the Mercy for All worlds.
medical suggestions, most countries have called for lockdown and curfew. One
issue that made the common Muslims more anxious was about the Friday prayer.
They wanted to know whether they would be sinners as per Islam if they missed
the congregational prayers in the mosques in times of the Coronavirus
lockdown. Is the current excuse
acceptable in Islam? Does Islam allow Muslim worshippers to leave
congregational Friday prayer in order to avoid possible harms and threats of
Coronavirus? Then there appeared an Urdu fatwa issued by Mufti Nizamuddin Razvi
on March 30, 2020, which not only addresses the common Muslims’ anxiety but
also conforms to the Indian administration in the present lockdown and to the
permission granted by Islam only in case of preventing harms.
following is the English translation of the Urdu Fatwa and the question raised
by Muhammad Yusuf Raza Qadri from Bhewandi, Maharashtra.
what is the opinion of the Islamic scholars in the current epidemic situation
that the government has imposed Article 144 all over the country to prevent the
novel Corona-virus whereby the five people can’t collectively gather? An order
was issued to close all the religious places. Our mosques are also locked. The
administrative ruling is that only the Imam, Muazzin and trustees of the
mosques can pray together, but if more people come to the mosque, a case will
be registered against the imam and the trustees. In this regard, the police are
taking strict actions. Even in some areas, the worshippers were beaten outside
In case of
the current ban imposed by the administration, though the right of the mosques
that the five-time congregational prayers should continue therein (at least
with the number of four people), the issue of the Friday prayer has become very
complicated. The Friday prayer on March 27, 2020 was cancelled because It is
prerequisite, as per Islamic jurisprudence, to keep the door of the mosque open
for all, but in the present case the door cannot be kept open, otherwise people
will come in a large number and then the same legal problem will take place.
it is important to know the answer in the current situation; Is it permissible
for the same few people (as allowed by the administration) who are offering the
five-time prayers to close the mosque-door and establish the Friday prayer?
be known that the Muslims have closed the door but not wilfully. It is
happening under the government’s pressure and that too, only for our
protection. Another point of consideration is that the condition of Izn-e-Aam
which is mentioned in the jurisprudential books such as Durre Mukhtar, Bahare
Shariat, Fatawa Razviyya and the Kutub al-Nawadir etc is not mentioned in the
That is why
there is no mention of this condition in a well-known book such as “the
Hidaya”. So in the current situation, if four to five people perform the Friday
prayer inside the mosque without satisfying the condition of Izn-e-Aam, will
the prayer be valid, as it will not cause at least complete cancellation of the
Friday prayer (which is one of the symbols of Islam) in the whole world and
then the mosques will not stand deserted? We even do not know how long the
Corona-virus will keep affecting the people, and how long this ban will remain
imposed. The current epidemic situation can lead to the cancellation of many Friday
prayers, which is also a matter of great concern. In the afore-mentioned case,
I hope that there must be any way-out for the issue of Friday prayer to be
established without the condition of Izn-e-Aam.
Questioner: Muhammad Yusuf Raza Qadri, Bhewandi Maharashtra
beginning with the name of - the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Answer: If there are at least four persons
(one Imam and three Muqtadis) performing the Friday prayer with the intention
of Izn-e-Aam (general permission), then the Friday prayer will be valid in the
current circumstances of Corona curfew or lockdown. The reason that led to the
present lockdown is to prevent the entire human community from the harmful and
fatal effects of corona-virus, and not to stop them from Namaz or its
congregation, so this lockdown or curfew does not cause the breach of the
seventh condition of the Friday prayer, Izn-e-Aam.
corona-virus is considered even more dangerous than the Nagasaki atom bomb, and
it is a fact that hundreds of people are dying every day, as Italy, Iran, the
United States, Spain and China are undercounting thousands of deaths caused by
this virus. The earliest symptoms of this disease are cold, dry cough and
fever. However they initially don’t appear in the people having good immune
system. Thinking of them as unaffected, others make close contact with such
people and then the virus spreads from one person to another.
directly or indirectly keeps spreading and after very few days it goes out of
the government’s control, then a deadly series of casualties begins. To avoid
this virus, "social distancing" has been suggested for which
"lockdown" and "Janta curfew" became necessary.
purpose of Lockdown is essentially to keep the human community from making
close contact with each other, which causes transmission of the virus from one
body to another, so it is not intended to prevent Friday and congregational
prayers. The real intention is only to avoid the novel coronavirus and its
prevention during lockdown does not cause breach of one of the seven conditions
of Friday prayer, Izn-e-Aam (general permission).
means the open permission for every worshiper to come to the mosque. For
example, women, because of fear of temptation, and harmful people, because of
the harm, are forbidden to come to the mosque. Just as such forbiddance does
not cause breach of condition of Izn-e-Aam and the Friday prayer becomes valid,
so the prohibition of social connecting and religious gathering of the human
community too will not cause breach of condition of Izn-e-Aam and thus the Friday
prayer will be valid.
mentioned in Durre Mukhtar:
فلا يضر غلق باب القلعة لعدو أو لعادة قديمة لأن الإذن العام مقرر لأهله وغلقه لمنع العدو لا المصلي و نعم لو لم يغلق لكان أحسن كما في مجمع الأنهر معزيا لشرح عيون المذاهب . اهـ
(الدر المختار على هامش رد المحتار ج1، ص 601 باب الجمعة)
no harm (with regard to breach of the condition of I zn-e-Aam) in locking the
door of a fortress for protection from an enemy or due to it being an old
practice (custom) because Izn ‘Aām is established for its inhabitants, and
locking the gates is to prevent the enemies from entering, not for preventing
Musallees (those who want to perform Salaah). Yes, if they didn’t lock the
gates it would be better as it is mentioned in Majma’ul Anhur with reference to
the book Sharh-e-Uyun al-Madhahib.” (Al-Durr al-Mukhtar Ala Haamish-e- Raddil
Muhtar vol. 1, p.601, the Chapter of Friday prayer)
statement is mentioned in Raddul Muhtar, “Locking the door of a fortress for
protection from an enemy or due to it being an old practice (custom) will not
cause breach of the condition of Izn-e-Aam (during the Friday prayer)”.
if the basis of prohibition is Namaz and its congregation, then it will be
unacceptable to the condition of Izn-e-Aam. But if the basis of prohibition is
fear of Fitna or harm from the enemy or anything else, it will not cause the
breach of Izn-e-Aam and then the Friday prayer will be valid.
As for the
present case, the basis of lockdown or social distancing is prevention of the
virus and its harm and not the Namaz or its congregation. So even if the four
people offering Namaz in the mosque close its door, the Friday prayers will be
valid. Yes, preferably it will be good to keep the door open.
It is true
that the condition of Izn ‘Aam is not mentioned in the Zāhir ar-Riwāya (the six
mainstream books in the Hanafī Madhab) as pointed out in the well-known
jurisprudential books such as ‘Badai al-Sanai, Bahr al-Raiq, Raddul Muhtar
(chapter of the Friday Prayer). This was why the reliable Hanafi book of
jurisprudence ‘Hidaya’ did not mention the condition of Izne Aam. However it
can be said that Adm-e-Zikr is not the Zikr-e-Adam (i.e. not mentioning
something does not mean denial of something). Sometimes something appears to
any Mujtahid in the light of any evidence, therefore he does not feel the need
to mention it.
governance and administration allow only five people to establish the Friday
and other congregational prayers in the mosques. So, the Muslims must abide by
this rule, because in case of violations they may be humiliated and punished as
it took place in some places.
must take this issue seriously. The rest of the people must perform the Zuhr
Prayer alone at their homes, instead of the Friday prayer. As for those five
people performing inside the mosque may keep the door of the mosque lightly
open during the Friday prayer.
they sense any difficulty or threat in case of keeping the door open, they can
keep the door close for the sole objective of prevention of the virus, just as
it is allowed to close the door of the mosque for avoiding Fitna and harms as
mentioned in the authentic Hanafi books of jurisprudence ‘Sharh Uyun
al-Madhahib, Majmaul Anhur, Tahtawi and Raddul Muhtar. Allah knows the best!
by (Mufti) Muhammad Nizamuddin Razvi
Head of Faculty of Ifta and Teaching, Al-Jamia al-Ashrafia, Mubarakpur
Azamgarh, March 30, 2020)
regular Columnist with NewAgeIslam.com, Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Dehlvi is an Alim
and Fazil (Classical Islamic scholar), with a Sufi-Sunni background and
English-Arabic-Urdu Translator. He has also done B.A (Hons.) in Arabic, M.A. in
Arabic and M.A in English from JMI, New Delhi. He is Interested in Islamic
Sciences; Theology, Jurisprudence, Tafsir, Hadith and Islamic mysticism
Article: Fatwa On the Validity of Friday Prayer for The Prevention
of Coronavirus دفع کروناوائرس کے لیے مسجدوں کا دروازہ بند رکھ کر بھی جمعہ کی نماز ہو جائے گی، مفتی نظام الدین رضوی کا ایک تحقیقی فتوی
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