Attending Friday Prayers under Epidemic Circumstances | Council of Senior Scholars

The Council of Senior Scholars Issues Decision No. 246 Regarding Attendance of Friday Prayer and Congregational Prayers under circumstances of spread of an epidemic or fear of its spread

All praises are due to Lord of the worlds, peace and blessings are upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions. As for what follows:

The Council of Senior Scholars in its 24th special session convened at Riyadh, on Wednesday 16/7/1441H, looked into the issue of permission for not attending Friday prayer and congregational prayers in case of spread of an epidemic or fear of its spread. After examining the evidences from the Islamic legislation, its objectives, its principles and speech of the people of knowledge on this affair, the council of senior scholars clarified the following:

Firstly, it is impermissible (Harām) for the one who has contracted the disease (infected person) to attend the Jumu’ah and congregational prayer due to the saying of the Prophet ﷺ

“Do not put a sick one with a healthy one”

Agreed upon

And due to his saying -May the peace and salutations be upon him- 

“If you hear of the spread of plague in a land, then do not enter it, and if it should appear in a land where you are present, then do not leave that land”

Agreed upon

Secondly, those for whom isolation measures have been instructed by a competent authority, it is obligatory upon them to adhere to it and to (temporarily) abstain from attending the congregational prayer and Jumu’ah and to perform the Salāt at his residence or the designated place of isolation, due to that which has been narrated by ‘Amr bin ash-Sharīd ath-Thaqāfī -May Allāh be pleased with him-, he said that there was in the delegation of Thaqīf a leper. The Prophet ﷺ sent a message to him:

“We have accepted your allegiance, so you may return.”

Reported by Muslim

Thirdly, one who fears getting harmed or causing harm to others, it is permitted for him to not attend the Jumu’ah and the congregational prayer due to the saying of the prophet -Peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him-

“There should neither be harming nor reciprocating harm”

Reported by Ibn Mājah

So with regards to every case that has been mentioned, if one has not attended Jumu’ah then he must pray four rak’āt of Dhuhr

The Council of Senior Scholars urges all to abide by the instructions, directives and regulations issued by the concerned bodies as it advises all to have taqwā (fear) of Allāh -‘Azza wa Jal- and resorting to Him -The Most Glorious- by invoking and humbly beseeching Him to raise this affliction. Allāh -The Most High- says:

وَإِنْ يَمْسَسْكَ اللَّهُ بِضُرٍّ فَلَا كَاشِفَ لَهُ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ وَإِنْ يُرِدْكَ بِخَيْرٍ فَلَا رَادَّ لِفَضْلِهِ ۚ يُصِيبُ بِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ ۚ وَهُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

“And if Allah touches you with hurt, there is none who can remove it but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can repel His Favour which He causes it to reach whomsoever of His slaves He will. And He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

Surah Yunus 107

And He -The Most Glorified- said:

وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ

“Invoke Me, I will respond to your (invocation).”

Surah Ghafir 60

May the Peace and Blessings of Allāh be upon our Prophet, his family and all his companions