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Is Offering Prayer with One-Meter Space between Worshippers to Avoid Coronavirus Valid?
Вопрос:
Some mosques and Islamic centers held Friday and congregational prayers with one-meter space between worshippers to avoid Coronavirus infection. Is prayer in this format valid? Can this be an alternative for closing the mosques altogether?

 

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

 

In this fatwa:

 

1- Offering prayer with one-meter space between worshippers to avoid Coronavirus infection is not valid.

 

2- The collective prayer has to be done with lines where people stand beside each other behind an Imam.

 

3- If congregation is not possible, then we pray individually or smaller congregations on the family level where we know that we are safe from the infection.

 

We will quote fatwa of sheikh Jasser Auda:

 

"Offering prayer with one-meter space between worshippers to avoid Coronavirus infection is not valid because this is not a valid way of offering the congregational prayer.

 

The collective prayer has to be done with lines where people stand beside each other behind an Imam. Otherwise, if congregation is not possible, then we pray individually or in smaller congregations where we know that we are safe from the infection.

 

The problem is a sick person can bring the infection to the carpets and the air in the mosque. So, as the medical experts say, the sick person can infect other Muslims who are praying in the same mosque because the infection can stay on the carpets and in the air for a short time. 

 

Even if we do the lines in this unprecedented way, the infection cannot be avoided and it is better to either close the mosque or keep it open with one or two workers who are safe until the circumstances pass inshaAllah.

 

There is no need for the argument about closing the mosques because this is a temporary measure and this is something that Muslims are doing for the sake of preserving lives which has the highest priority in terms of the worldly interests that we are supposed to guard.

 

Of course, the priority that is higher than life is faith, but faith is not touched by that because we will continue to pray individually and in smaller collective groups on the family level everywhere we are. This measure is taken for the sake of protection which is something that Islam calls for".

 

Almighty Allah knows best.

 

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