Coud Friday Prayers Be Held Online During A Pandemic Outbreak?

By: Sajadi, A Jurnalist of Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

The coronavirus outbreak or COVID-19 has impacted on Muslims around the world. It does not only have an impact on healthy but also the implementation of worship, such as forcing Muslims to close their mosques from holding congregational prayers and Friday prayers.

This raises a longing for prayer in congregation and also questions in the minds of Muslims.

Is it possible to hold Friday prayers or pray in congregation with online or virtual when an pandemic outbreak occurs?

In this regard, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Canada, said that in this unprecedented situation an extraordinary verdict was demanded.

These prominent scholars refer to examples in Islamic history where the interpretation of a verse in the Quran varies according to time and place.

“Jumu`ah, as narrated by Imam Shah Waliullah and others, is an important Islamic symbol or symbol with the aim of showing the spirit, unity and strength of Islam,” Sheikh Kutty said, as quoted from AboutIslam on Saturday, April 4.

“I venture say that it can be done, but only as a temporary measure because, if not, it will lead to great danger that can threaten the mosque,” he added.

Emphasizing the temporary nature of the provision, Sheikh Kutty also mentioned the steps to be followed, including:

“The Friday Prayer can be practically done only temporarily by the Jami Mosque on condition that the sermon be heard clearly and worshipers follow the movement of imams from their homes or workplaces,” he said.

However, Sheikh Kutty stressed the virtual prayer must be stopped when the lockdown and crowd ban were lifted.

Meanwhile, a different opinion was expressed by the North American Fiqh Council, Dr. Yasir Qadhi, who said the Friday Sermon was broadcast, even in person, was not legal for those who listened to it from home.

This opinion is based on a unanimous consensus among all schools of thought. While great distances and places differ between pilgrims, it doesn’t make sense to say congregational prayers.

Dr. Yasir is also in line with the Jurists of America Muslim Council Fatwa Resident Committee (AMJA) which says,

“There is no opinion according to any madzab, praying in congregation for miles, with dozens of buildings and roads as a barrier between them,” said AMJA.

Jasser Auda, Professor and Chair of Al-Shatibi Maqasid Studies at the International Peace College in South Africa, also disagrees with the idea of ​​Friday Prayers online.

“I don’t agree with the recommended Friday Prayer format at home by listening to or watching Friday Friday Sermons. This is because the congregational prayers have spatial connectivity conditions, “he said.

Dr. Auda instead suggested that families and people who worked could perform Friday Prayers at home or work.

“Some opinions only allow Friday Prayers to have more than 40 worshipers, but there are also strong opinions that allow Friday Prayers to any amount,” he said.

“This will achieve the true purpose of Friday Prayers, with smaller amounts, but safer,” he added. (A/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)