May I Continue Praying Friday Prayer at Home even after Mosques Open?
Question: In light of the current pandemic, is it permissible to stay at home to pray salah including jummah salah (zuhr if not enough family members) and eid salah even if masjids are open again?
My concern is, is that there is still a chance of getting the virus as it hasn’t been confirmed to be eradicated completely yet and so there is still a risk to one’s health to go to the masjid despite them following protocols – compared to praying at home where this isn’t an issue.
The answer to this question would depend on the potential risk posed by the coronavirus in the area one is living in. This also takes into account a number of factors, such as the reproduction rate and growth rate of the coronavirus, the advice of experts, the safety measures that mosques and other public places are implementing or are able to implement, the background of the individual (such as age, health, etc.), and more.
If your mosque is in an area where health experts have permitted controlled gatherings and the mosque is able to effectively implement all required safety measures, which includes that their guidance is being followed by fellow congregants, and you are someone who is otherwise healthy and pose minimal risk to others (such as an elderly family member living with you), then you should go to the mosque for Friday prayers.
If, however, you are in an area where the coronavirus is still spreading significantly, or your mosque is not able to implement the required safety measures, or they advise the necessary precautions to be taken but members of the congregation attending are not following them, or if you have health problems that put you at greater risk than others, or if you pose a real risk to vulnerable people around you, then you may (and in some of these cases should) pray Zuhr at home.
These are simply general pointers. Individuals are responsible for exercising their best judgment in these cases.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Salman Younas was born and raised in New York and graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in Amman with his wife.