Are Men Excused from Friday Congregational Prayer in a Situation Like COVID-19?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle


Are men excused from Friday congregational prayer in a situation like COVID-19?


Thank you for your important question.

Although fear of getting sick is an excuse to miss the Friday prayer, one should rely on a fatwa specific to your own country where possible.

Fuller Answer

Fear of getting sick is definitely an excuse that permits one to absent oneself from the Friday prayer. [Mardawi, al-Insaf; Ba ‘Ishn, Bushra al-Karim]

That said, the problem with is that the likelihood of getting sick varies drastically based on one’s location. This is further complicated by the health repercussions it implies based on one’s own health and that of those in one’s direct vicinity.

For this reason, it is not possible, or wise, to give a blanket statement for all the Muslims in the world.

In Jordan, for example, the fatwa (June 2020) was that every adult male whose health is not already compromised and is not elderly must attend the Friday prayers, and is not excused due to the mere fear of contagion.

Please see: General Iftaa’ Department, Jordan.

It is worth noting that to date (15th June 2020), Jordan has only had 961 cases, with a population of 9.5 million. That is 1 case in every 10,000 Jordanians.

The Birmingham Fiqh Council in the UK, however, has given a blanket statement (June 2020) that the Friday prayer is not obligatory, and all men are excused regardless of age and health history.

Please see: Fiqh Council Birmingham (FCB) Fatwa.

The difference in the answer is due to many factors, but a quick look at the data gives a good indication that the difference in risk is the key determiner.

To date (15th June 2020) UK has had 295,889 cases, and the population is nearly 68 million. That is over 40 in every 10,000 Britons.

Given that it is more than 40 times more likely to have or have had Coronavirus in the UK than in Jordan, it is clear why there is a difference in fatwa.

In Dubai, you might want to check this website.


In order to know whether or not men are obliged to attend the Friday prayer in your own country, you have to see what the scholars of your country advise. If this is not possible, you must seek a fatwa specific to your country.

I pray this helps.
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.