China announced for the first time on 4/1/2020, especially in Wuhan, that dozens of people were infected with Coronavirus disease, named COVID-19, then it spread to almost all the countries of the world, and many countries imposed closure of the borders and curfew, and then they stopped the Friday and congregational prayers. This disease gave a blow to the global economy, and America began to exchange accusations with China.
What is the source of this epidemic? What is the extent of its actual impact on the global economy? And what is the correct solution for it? Is it permissible to stop the prayers, Friday and congregational because of this disease?
The Coronavirus is given this name in English (crown) and it means the crown in Arabic, because its shape is like a crown when it is viewed by the electron microscope, and it was first discovered in 1960 as Coronaviridae. From the family of this virus, one appeared in 2003 in the Chinese region of Hong Kong, a virus called SARS, and recorded 8,422 infections, including 916 deaths, and in 2004 and 2005 new strains appeared, and thus began to appear in the following years, especially in 2012 and 2014, but it was limited in some countries and in few percentages. It appeared again in the beginning of December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and it resembles the SARS 2 virus by 96%. Many of the initial infections were associated with sea and animal food market in Wuhan, in China. It spread to many neighboring countries, and appeared similar to the Coronavirus of the bats by 96%, which most likely made its origin from bats.
The number of deaths increased, most of them in China until the number of those infected reached more than 81,193 cases, with more than 3000 deaths, followed by Italy, Iran, Spain, France and the United States, and terror spread throughout the world because of its rapid spread until the number of infected reached about 404,000 confirmed cases, and deaths are close to 20,000 on 24/3/2020 (Deutsche Welle, 25/3/2020), and the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “The Covid-19 epidemic may kill millions if its spread is not controlled ” (Euro News, 19/3/2020). That is why many countries have banned schools, universities and gatherings, and called for curfews, collective quarantine, and for cancelling Friday prayers and congregational prayers. This has resulted in matters requiring clarification:
First: Has this disease been caused by an effective action [actor], or is it like other diseases, Qadaa (Divine fate) from Allah caused by the hands of people?
Second: Did the Capitalist world properly address this issue? What is the Shariah treatment in such a case?
Third: What is the impact of this Coronavirus disease on oil prices and the global economy?
Fourth: Is it permissible due to this disease to prevent congregational prayers and Friday prayer?
First: Emergence of this disease and those behind it:
1- The beginning of the spread of Coronavirus [COVID-19] was from China, and scientific and medical studies say that it moved from animals to humans, because in China, it is common to eat all kinds of animals even the filthy, since they are pagan Kuffar (polytheists) who do not distinguish between the malicious and the good. As we mentioned earlier, the media reports pointed out that the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei is a center of trade for these filthy meats, and is the epicenter of the outbreak of this disease.
Thus, Coronavirus disease spread in China and then moved to Iran through the Chinese working there for the Chinese Railways Corporation, which is building a railway through the city of Qom. Iran is considered the epicenter of the outbreak in the Middle East. Italy has also opened a group of sectors for Chinese investment, from infrastructure to transportation. Reports indicate that Lombardy and Tuscany are the two regions that witnessed the largest amount of Chinese investment. The Lombardy region witnessed the first Coronavirus infection on the 21st of last February, and is one of the most affected areas.
2- America attacked China for its failure to fight the epidemic and for concealing it since its inception and its failure to combat it. So, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Li Jian responded angrily and wrote on his Twitter account on 13/3/2020 saying: “The American army may have brought the Coronavirus to the Chinese city of Wuhan”… (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, 13/3/2020). US President Trump repeated his attack on China, saying: “The world is paying a very big price for what they did (referring to China’s slow pace in providing information about the new Coronavirus) ” (Euro News, 19/3/2020) Trump described the Coronavirus as the Chinese virus when he posted a tweet on 16/3/2020 on Twitter: “The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus.” China responded through its Foreign Ministry spokesman on 17/3/2020 and said: “This comment distorts the image of China. We are very angry and we strongly reject it.” (Russia Today, 18/3/2020)
And when China began spreading accusations that initially mentioned that America was behind the spread of the virus, Washington summoned its Beijing ambassador on 13/3/2020 and a State Department official said: “China is seeking to deflect criticism for its role in ‘starting a global pandemic and not telling the world.’ Spreading conspiracy theories is dangerous and ridiculous.” The official said, “We wanted to put the government on notice we won’t tolerate it for the good of the Chinese people and the world.” Xinhua agency confirmed “that Beijing’s actions, including imposing strict quarantine on millions of people, have given the world “valuable time” to prepare, which is recognized by the international community.” (Russia Today, 15/3/2020).
3- Thus, a war of words broke out between America and China because of the outbreak of the Covid19 virus (SARS-CoV2), and both countries accuse the other of being the direct factor in the spread of this disease, and although both systems applied in China and the United States are not excluded from being behind the spread of the virus, however, after research, it is likely that there is no concrete evidence that the United States nor China was the one that transmitted or manufactured the virus and then proceeded to transmit it to other countries for two distinct reasons:
The first is that both countries are drowning to their ears in this disease!
In China, in addition to what we mentioned about it previously, the last statistic of Coronavirus disease is: the number of the affected reached 81272, and the number of deceased are 3273 as stated in the announcement of the National Health Committee in China. (Youm7, 23/3/2020), even if it were China who was behind the spread of the disease, it would have at least protected itself.
As for America, according to the statistics of those affected by the Coronavirus disease according to CNN Health, the number of deaths from the virus has increased to 704, while the total confirmed cases reached 52976 (CNN Arabic, 25/3/2020). The United States ranks third in terms of the number of infections by the virus after China and Italy. Under the recent measures, a third of Americans are subject to orders to stay at home in seven states, as the states of Louisiana and Ohio announced on Sunday an expanded curfew, thereby joining the states of New York, California, Illinois, Connecticut and New Jersey. (Al-Jazeera, 23/3/2020), and likewise, if it were America who was behind the spread of the disease, it would have at least protected itself from it.
The second is that it is incorrect to say that either country manufactured it, because there is no evidence that the virus was manufactured in the laboratory. The Nature Medicine says, “By comparing the genome sequencing data available for known Coronavirus strains, we can strongly confirm Coronavirus has originated through natural processes.” The magazine also says, “This view was supported by data on the virus’s backbone and its overall molecular structure, and whoever wanted to manufacture the virus in vitro, this would show in the backbone of the virus.” (https://www.npr.org) The same applies to any other country such as Russia, Europe, Iran and other Muslim countries, as it is likely affected by one of the two countries, China and America, in terms of transmission of the disease.
Therefore, only what Allah Almighty says remains: ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُمْ بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ “Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness]” [Ar-Rum: 41].
We are all aware of what evil the capitalists and their like committed in the world, for they do not value except their interests and ambitions. The rulers of America, China, Russia, Europe, etc., are the cause of the world’s misery and the misery of their people, and their crimes against humanity are many. They are the ones who bombed unarmed people with nuclear bombs, depleted uranium, and burning napalm bombs and they brutally enslaved African tribes and made them fields for their biological and chemical experiments. The wars of extermination of the Native Americans are marks of shame on their foreheads, and the crimes of China against the Uighurs Muslims have reached the globe. The crimes of Russia and the Serbs against Muslims in Central Asia, the Balkans and Ash-Sham are still continuing, and Britain’s crimes in India against Muslims and non-Muslims still have its repercussions to this day. These crimes confirm that these rulers who control the peoples of the world are the cause of the misery of humanity. So, yes, as the Mighty in Power (swt) said: فَأَصَابَهُمْ سَيِّئَاتُ مَا كَسَبُوا وَالَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْ هَؤُلَاءِ سَيُصِيبُهُمْ سَيِّئَاتُ مَا كَسَبُوا وَمَا هُمْ بِمُعْجِزِينَ “And the evil consequences of what they earned struck them. And those who have wronged of these [people] will be afflicted by the evil consequences of what they earned; and they will not cause failure” [Az-Zumar: 51].
Second: The mistake of the capitalist solution and their likes to this issue, and that the correct treatment is that of the Shariah:
Capitalists and their likes have dealt with this issue in three stages:
The first is to conceal the subject:
1- (A Chinese report revealed that the Chinese authorities have hidden from the Chinese and the world the truth of the fatal disease that the authorities learned of its spread before mid-December 2019, but they kept the matter a secret and did not recognise it until the end of the year after the increase in the number of cases. The Chinese-American media reporter Shang Wei Wang stressed that the authorities did not close a market for selling seafood in Wuhan, from which the disease spread until January. The report revealed that 8 citizens were arrested for transmitting information about the disease at the beginning of the crisis and considered them outlaws by spreading unconfirmed information. He continued that the local authorities in Wuhan still claim that things are normal and allowed the rituals of one of the local traditions to be held on January 18th, which was attended by about 40 thousand families.” (Ibid 01/02/2020)
2- Likewise, [Chinese officials did not warn the people of the gravity of the crisis in December until December 31, when Beijing informed the World Health Organization. At the time, the Chinese government said, “The disease is preventable and controllable.” On January 23, the authorities closed down the city of Wuhan, and a complete travel ban was issued. (Masrawy, 23/3/2020)]
The second is quarantine and partial isolation
1- [Officials from the health department in the United States confirmed, on Saturday, an eighth case of the new Coronavirus , and the US Department of Defense said that it will provide shelter for foreigners arriving who may be required to be quarantined… The city of Wuhan and Hubei Province in central China, where the virus appeared, are subject to for an actual quarantine (Sky News, 21/2/2020)]
2- In the United States, the Governor of the New York State, Andrew Cuomo, said, “We are in quarantine,” stressing that it is “the most stringent measure we can take.” With the imposition of quarantine in New York, California, New Jersey and Illinois, more than 85 million people now have to stay home, except for shopping and a short walk (Deutsche Welle, 21/3/2020)]
The third is almost complete isolation in homes
[Hundreds of millions of people around the world are isolated in their homes in the hope of curbing the spread of the Coronavirus, which has killed more than eleven thousand people. This strict measure, that is unprecedented in the history of humankind, is being implemented in varying degrees depending on the countries… more than 800 million people in more than 30 countries were requested to stay in their homes, whether due to public quarantine decisions, recommendations, or curfews, according to a census conducted by AFP… In Germany, the authorities are considering tightening measures to restrict public life and obligate most of the population to abide by their homes … Italy, the country most affected by the virus in Europe, that has killed 4,000 people and was the first country on the old continent to order the population to be quarantined, is working to strengthen its measures in the face of the spread of the disease. It will close all parks and reserves to the public this weekend, and other restrictions will be imposed to push Italians to stay in their homes, after the authorities announced that 627 people have died of the virus within 24 hours in the country, marking a peak since the beginning of the crisis (Deutsche Welle,21/3/2020)]
- By organizing these three treatments, it turns out that they do not solve the problem, but rather they increase the failure of the economy further, then it increases this disease and the boredom and impatience that afflict people, as we have heard about cases in the Capitalist society.
Therefore, the correct treatment for this disease is, as stated in Allah’s law (swt), that the state follows the disease from its beginning and works to limit the disease to its place of origin, and healthy people in other regions continue to work and produce.
Narrated by Bukhari in his Sahih from Usama Bin Zaid from the Prophet ﷺ that he said:«إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ بِالطَّاعُونِ بِأَرْضٍ فَلَا تَدْخُلُوهَا وَإِذَا وَقَعَ بِأَرْضٍ وَأَنْتُمْ بِهَا فَلَا تَخْرُجُوا مِنْهَا» “If you get wind of the outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; and if it breaks out in a land in which you are, do not leave it.” In another Hadith in Bukhari and Muslim, and the version is from Muslim from Usama Bin Zaid, that the Prophet ﷺ said: «الطَّاعُونُ رِجْزٌ أَوْ عَذَابٌ أُرْسِلَ عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَوْ عَلَى مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ فَإِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ بِهِ بِأَرْضٍ فَلَا تَقْدَمُوا عَلَيْهِ وَإِذَا وَقَعَ بِأَرْضٍ وَأَنْتُمْ بِهَا فَلَا تَخْرُجُوا فِرَاراً مِنْهُ»، “Plague is a calamity which was sent to Bani Isra’il or upon those who were before you. So when you hear that it has broken out in a land, don’t go to it, and when it has broken out in the land where you are, don’t run out of it.” In another narration by Bukhari from Aisha (ra), the Prophet’s wife ﷺ, that she said “I asked Allah’s Messenger ﷺ about the plague. He told me that: «أَنَّهُ عَذَابٌ يَبْعَثُهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ جَعَلَهُ رَحْمَةً لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ لَيْسَ مِنْ أَحَدٍ يَقَعُ الطَّاعُونُ فَيَمْكُثُ فِي بَلَدِهِ صَابِراً مُحْتَسِباً يَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ لَا يُصِيبُهُ إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَهُ إِلَّا كَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِ شَهِيدٍ». ‘it was a Punishment sent by Allah on whom He wished, and Allah made it a source of mercy for the believers, for if one in the time of an epidemic plague stays in his country patiently hoping for Allah’s Reward and believing that nothing will befall him except what Allah has written for him, he will get the reward of a martyr.'”
This is a kind of quarantine in a state that was ahead of all countries, and in a civilized state of a first class, whose leader is the Prophet of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ, who received Revelation as he implemented Islam to set a good example in application. Ibn Hajar mentioned in Fath Al-Bari that Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, went out to the Ash-Sham, when he reached Serg, he was informed that the epidemic occurred in Ash-Sham, and Abd al-Rahman bin Auf told him that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: «إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ بِهِ بِأَرْضٍ فَلَا تَقْدَمُوا عَلَيْهِ، وَإِذَا وَقَعَ بِأَرْضٍ وَأَنْتُمْ بِهَا فَلَا تَخْرُجُوا فِرَارًا مِنْهُ» “If you get wind of the outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; and if it breaks out in a land in which you are, do not leave it.” Then Omar bin al-Khattab returned; meaning, when the news came that the plague had spread, he returned with the Muslims.
Accordingly, the state in Islam has to restrict the disease to its place and its residents remain in it and other residents do not enter upon them, and to perform its Shariah duty, for it is a state of care and honesty. Just as it performs these measures during outbreaks of infectious diseases, it provides health care from medical care and medicine free of charge to all its citizens and builds Hospitals, medical laboratories and other basic needs of the citizens of the country, such as education and maintaining security.
Thus, the correct procedure is to isolate the infectious disease in its place and quarantine the sick and provide a follow-up with care and treatment free of charge, while the healthy continue in their work, and the social and economic life continues as it was before the infectious disease. It does not stop the general people’s lives, they are not isolated in their homes causing the economic life to paralyze or almost does, increasing and worsening the crisis in, and other problems arise.
Third: The effect of this disease (Coronavirus) on oil prices and then on the global economy:
The growth of world economy was slowing down even in the normal circumstances without the pandemic. So how is it when the world’s measures are heading towards quarantine and to total and partial isolation? These measures will further slow the global economy if it does not lead to its collapse:
The virus has paralyzed global trade and caused oil prices to fall rock bottom, as oil prices have fallen to very low levels. And it created a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, because Russia had to raise its oil production as it relied heavily on it, and America moved Saudi Arabia to raise its production to confront Russia. On 19/3/2020, American President Trump threatened Russia, saying, “He will interfere in the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia at the appropriate time” (Al-Hurra (American) 19/3/2020)
Saudi Arabia is fighting a battle for America against Russia over market shares, after its previous agreement, which lasted three years, to curb production collapsed this month. The two countries are pumping oil to their fullest capacity at a time when global demand is falling sharply due to the spread of the Coronavirus virus, so prices have fallen to their lowest levels in nearly 20 years this week. The price of a barrel fell to $ 28.75 for the Brent futures mix. And despite the Russians’ awareness of Saudi Arabia’s links with America, (Rosneft spokesman, Mikhail Leontyev told the Russian Information Agency (All oil quantities, which were reduced as a result of the extension of the OPEC + agreement several times, were completely and quickly compensated in the global market with American shale oil) Reuters 8/3/2020]
However, they could not take any action on that. Indeed, Saudi Arabia exacerbated the crisis towards Russia by deciding not to extend the previous agreement (reducing 2.1 million barrels) and decided to raise production (oil prices lost up to a third of their value on Monday in their biggest daily loss since the Gulf War In 1991… Thus, Brent crude futures fell 22 percent at $37.05 a barrel, after dropping earlier 31 percent to $31.02, the lowest level since February 12, 2016. (Reuters 9/3/2020)) Then it reduced the price of oil to its clients in Asia by $6! Today, Russia is looking for a way to return to the OPEC Plus agreement and it is showing flexibility for a new reduction!
Thus, the world economy was severely shaken by the spread of the Coronavirus and then the drop in oil prices. If this continues to be the case, the world economy may be about to collapse.
Fourth: Is it permissible to prohibit the Friday and congregational prayers in mosques?
Stopping Friday and congregational prayers in the event of spread of infectious epidemics is not carried out in general, but rather the sick are isolated and are not allowed to enter the mosques for the congregational or Friday prayers, and all measures are taken from hygiene and sterilization and wearing masks if required, and so on. Then the healthy people continue to pray Friday and congregational prayer without stopping them, and if there is a need for medical teams in mosques to check who is suspected of the illness amongst the worshiper, then that measure can be taken, but without disrupting the Friday and congregational prayers for healthy Muslims. The evidences on the congregational and Friday prayers do not include permanent disruption, but rather they do not require a large number for their performance as in what we will explain, and some Muslims are excused from attending them, for reasons that concern them, as follows:
- As for the congregational prayer, it is an obligation of sufficiency (kifayah):
The congregational prayer is an obligation of sufficiency that must be shown to people, because Abu Darda, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said: «مَا مِنْ ثَلَاثَةٍ فِي قَرْيَةٍ وَلَا بَدْوٍ لَا تُقَامُ فِيهِمْ الصَّلَاةُ إِلَّا قَدْ اسْتَحْوَذَ عَلَيْهِمْ الشَّيْطَانُ، عَلَيْكَ بِالْجَمَاعَةِ فَإِنَّمَا يَأْخُذُ الذِّئْبُ مِنَ الْغَنَمِ الْقَاصِيَةَ» “If there are three men in a village or in the desert among whom prayer is not offered (in congregation), the devil has got the mastery over them. So observe (prayer) in congregation), for the wolf eats only the straggling animal.” It was narrated by Abu Dawood with a Hasan Isnad (chain of transmission), and it is about congregational prayer. It is an obligation of sufficiency; some Muslims have delayed the prayer of the congregation with the Messenger ﷺ and the Messenger left them after threatening them with burning. Al-Bukhari narrated that Abu Huraira said that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, «وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَقَدْ هَمَمْتُ أَنْ آمُرَ بِحَطَبٍ فَيُحْطَبَ ثُمَّ آمُرَ بِالصَّلَاةِ فَيُؤَذَّنَ لَهَا ثُمَّ آمُرَ رَجُلاً فَيَؤُمَّ النَّاسَ ثُمَّ أُخَالِفَ إِلَى رِجَالٍ فَأُحَرِّقَ عَلَيْهِمْ بُيُوتَهُمْ وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَوْ يَعْلَمُ أَحَدُهُمْ أَنَّهُ يَجِدُ عَرْقاً سَمِيناً أَوْ مِرْمَاتَيْنِ حَسَنَتَيْنِ لَشَهِدَ الْعِشَاءَ» “By Him in Whose Hand my soul is I was about to order for collecting firewood (fuel) and then order Someone to pronounce the Adhan for the prayer and then order someone to lead the prayer then I would go from behind and burn the houses of men who did not present themselves for the (compulsory congregational) prayer. By Him, in Whose Hands my soul is, if anyone of them had known that he would get a bone covered with good meat or two (small) pieces of meat present in between two ribs, he would have turned up for the `Isha’ prayer.”
And if it was a fard Ain for every Muslim, he would not have left them, and it is was from the congregational prayers since it mentioned the Isha prayer. And the congregation should have at least two members, an imam (leader) and ma’moom (one who is lead) due to the Hadith of Malik bin Al-Houwarith, who said: «أَتَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَا وَصَاحِبٌ لِي فَلَمَّا أَرَدْنَا الْإِقْفَالَ مِنْ عِنْدِهِ قَالَ لَنَا إِذَا حَضَرَتْ الصَّلَاةُ فَأَذِّنَا ثُمَّ أَقِيمَا وَلْيَؤُمَّكُمَا أَكْبَرُكُمَا» “I came to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ along with a companion of mine, and when we intended to return from him, he said: ‘When there is time for prayer, announce prayer, pronounce Iqama, and the oldest amongst you should lead the prayer.’” Narrated by Muslim. And the congregation is not waived except with a Shariah excuse, in which there is a text like a cold or rainy night, for the Hadith of Bukhari that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: «كَانَ يَأْمُرُ مُؤَذِّناً يُؤَذِّنُ ثُمَّ يَقُولُ عَلَى إِثْرِهِ أَلَا صَلُّوا فِي الرِّحَالِ فِي اللَّيْلَةِ الْبَارِدَةِ أَوْ الْمَطِيرَةِ فِي السَّفَرِ»“Allah’s Messenger ﷺ used to tell the Mu’adhin to pronounce Adhan and say, “Pray at your homes” at the end of the Adhan on a rainy or a very cold night during the journey.”
- As for Friday prayer, it is Fard Ain (individual obligation) prayer, and it is not waived except with an excuse, and the evidence for that is abundant, including:
The Speech of Allah (swt) إِذَا نُودِي لِلصَّلاَةِ مِنْ يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْا إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَذَرُوا الْبَيْعَ “O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu’ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade.” [Al-Jumu’a: 9] The request in this verse is obligatory due to the evidence of the Qareenah (indication) of the prohibition from what is permissible, indicating the decisive request (jazim). And Al-Hakim narrated in Al-Mustadrak on Al-Sahihain on the authority of Tariq bin Shihab, on the authority of Abu Musa, from the Prophet ﷺ that he said: «الْجُمُعَةُ حَقٌّ وَاجِبٌ عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ فِي جَمَاعَةٍ إِلَّا أَرْبَعَةٌ: عَبْدٌ مَمْلُوكٌ، أَوِ امْرَأَةٌ، أَوْ صَبِيٌّ، أَوْ مَرِيضٌ» “The Friday prayer in congregation is a necessary duty for every Muslim, with four exceptions; a slave, a woman, a boy, and a sick person“. Al-Hakim said: “It is a Sahih hadith on the condition of the two sheikhs.” And it is not obligatory on the one who is in fear, due to what was narrated from Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them, that the Prophet ﷺ said: «مَنْ سَمِعَ النِّدَاءَ فَلَمْ يُجِبْهُ فَلَا صَلَاةَ لَهُ إلَّا مِنْ عُذْرٍ، قَالُوا: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ وَمَا الْعُذْرُ؟ قَالَ: خَوْفٌ أَوْ مَرَضٌ» “He who heard the call must answer it, there is no prayer for a man except with an excuse. They said: O Messenger of Allah, what is the excuse? He said: Fear or disease” It was extracted by Al-Bayhaqi in Al-Sunan Al-Kubra. Thus, Friday is obligatory for every Muslim, except for those who have a Shariah text that excludes them, whereas other than those who do not have a text to exclude them, Friday is obligatory (fard Ain) upon them. These are the Shariah excuses and analogies are not measured on them. The Shariah excuse is what is stated in the Shariah text and does not include the acts of
worship, because they do not include divine reason (‘ila) so that analogies are drawn from them. And it is required for Friday prayers to have a number of Muslims, and the Companions agreed that there must be a number to perform Friday prayers, so they must be in a number (of people). A certain number is not required, so any number is called a group and is considered a number and will make the Friday prayer valid as long as it is considered a group, because being in a group for Friday prayer is fixed by the previous hadith of Tariq: «الْجُمُعَةُ حَقٌّ وَاجِبٌ عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ فِي جَمَاعَةٍ» “The Friday prayer in congregation is a necessary duty for every Muslim.” And because the number is fixed by the consensus of the Companions, and there was no hadith in the status of consideration indicating a specific number to carry out Friday prayer. However, because achieving the group and the number were necessary, and this can only be achieved by three or more, because two are not considered a number of a group. Accordingly, three of those who are obliged to perform Friday prayers are required so that the Friday prayer is valid. If there are less than that, it is not valid and it is not called Friday prayer because there is no number, and the consensus was on that there must be a number (of people) for the Friday prayer.
Thus, in the Khilafah (Caliphate) state, the Friday or congregational prayer is not stopped. Rather, he who is legally (by Shariah) excused does not attend and the rest attend. As for saying that it is likely with least amount of doubt that everyone is vulnerable to infection and it cannot be prevented no matter what measures or precautions were taken, it is a weak possibility, especially since the lowest number for the congregational prayer is two and for the Friday prayer is three, and this is most likely achievable. If we assume that this possibility exists, it will be taken in its region accordingly, therefore, the matter must be strictly and sincerely controlled. If the number is attained with least amount of doubt, then Friday and congregational prayers are not stopped, but all measures and precautions are taken. Taking precaution does not mean leaving the obligation, but rather it is carried out together with taking precautions and measures to prevent the infection.
This is the most likely outweighed ruling in the matter. If the state closes the mosques without making every effort to verify the least amount of doubt (ghalabat adh-Dhan) as we have shown above, then it prevents people from attending the mosques for Friday (prayer) and congregations, then it would have committed a great sin for disrupting the Friday and congregational prayers.
In conclusion, it is truly painful that the rulers in Muslim countries follow the steps of the colonial Kuffar (disbelievers), handspan by handspan and arms length by arms length, and if those countries were troubled in finding treatment of a specific disease, they follow them, and if they proposed a solution, even if it was not suitable, the rulers in Muslim countries would applaud them, and consider that in it is health and cure! It is painful that this epidemic (Coronavirus) brought the country and the people into standstill and stagnation, even the public life is almost stopped. This is so even though the Muslim countries have gone through many similar situation like this: It was plagued by plague as it waged a fierce war with the Romans in Ash-Sham in the eighteenth year after Hijra, and the Ummah was tested in the middle of the sixth century after Hijra with the scourge of “Al-Shaqfa” and is now called Carbuncle, which extended from Ash-Sham to Morocco, and it is now considered one of the sores that result from the skin being infected with staphylococcus bacteria (a type of bacteria). Muslims were also tested in the middle of the eighth century of after Hijra (749 AH) in what is called the Great Plague in Damascus, and in all these cases the mosques did not close and the Friday and the congregation prayers were not stopped. And the people were not locked up in their homes, but the sick were isolated, and the healthy people carried out their work, with jihad and building the earth. They went to the mosques to pray and supplicated to Allah to protect them from the evil of this disease, in addition to the health treatment they followed in caring for the sick. This is the truth فَمَاذَا بَعْدَ الْحَقِّ إِلَّا الضَّلَالُ “And what can be beyond truth except error?” [Yunus: 32].
02nd Sha’ban 1441 AH