Assalamu Alaikum Warahmathullaahi Wa Barakaathuhu
Guidance on conducting Jumuah during the present COVID-19 situation
Conducting Jumuah is from amongst the fundamentals of the religion. Many a guidance has been provided and specific conditions have been mentioned in regards to it. It is incumbent upon every Muslim to adhere to them. Furthermore, considering the unfamiliar situation of COVID-19, it is also important to follow the guidelines issued by the relevant officers and the Ministry of Health when holding a Jumuah congregation.
1. The health officers have limited the number of people gathering at religious sites, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Gathering in numbers exceeding the said limit should be avoided.
2. According to the Shafie School of Thought (Mad’hab), a minimum of 40 matured males, who are permanent residents, is required for the validity of Jumuah Prayer. Hence, if due to space constraints, or permission not being granted by the officers, or for any other reason, the number of attendees is less than 40, then Luhar Salah has to be conducted.
3. A concession could be provided to conduct Jumuah at various venues in a town, due to space constraints. Considering the above and the fact that performing Jumuah Prayers is not possible while maintaining Social distancing, Jumuah Prayers could be conducted at Jumuah Masjids as well as other Masjids, Thakkiyas, Zaviyas, etc. However, advice should be sought from the branch Jamiyyahs and permission should be taken from the health officers before taking the above mentioned steps. Moreover, should the Health Officials (PHI) grant permission, Jumuah could also be conducted at Madrasas, Halls and public places.
4. Generally, if one is unable to attend Jumuah prayers due to illness, travel, fear, rain or any other restrictions, he will be exempted from performing the Jumuah Prayers.
5. Since the government has restricted the number of people that could gather in a place, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and keeping in mind the difficulty in maintaining Social distancing whilst performing Jumuah, praying Luhar would suffice for those who are unable to attend the Jumuah prayers. In a state of compulsion, if one is unable to perform Jumuah prayers, it will not be deemed a sin; instead, he will be rewarded.
6. The residents should fully cooperate with their respective Masjid administrators in this matter; and those who are able to may conduct the Jumuah prayers, while others should conduct the Luhar prayers.
7. Be mindful of the instructions provided by the Waqf Board and the Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs too, as they are responsible for the affairs of the Masjids of the country.
Note: The concession granted to conduct Jumuah in many places is valid only during the period of the COVID-19 crisis. Once this crisis is over and the nation reverts back to normalcy, the practice of conducting Jumuahs in many venues should discontinue, and Jumuahs should be conducted only in places where they used be conducted before the crisis. This would be in accordance to the religious rulings in regards to Jumuah.
Those who are unable to conduct Jumuah prayers in many venues of a town, in the manner mentioned, could contact the Fatwah Division on their hotline: 0117490420.
“Allah is the All Knowing”
Secretary – Fatwa Division
All Ceylon Jammiyyathul Ulama