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Social Distancing during the Coronavirus

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Shaykh Umer Khan


Regarding the coronavirus, what’s the ruling Islamically, please? For example, eating leftovers apparently, grants Shifa? It is good in shaking hands etc? Does all that stop? I’ve seen Jamaat been done with people stood apart?

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


Islām is applicable to all times and situations, and acts that are normally considered good or encouraged may be discouraged at other times based on the specific context and situation. The spread of the Coronavirus is such a context, and we must consult our scholars for guidance, particularly as the spread of the virus has been rapid, and the response required has also changed rather quickly.

The Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said, “An ill person should not mix with healthy people.”(Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, Hadīth 2221b). The Prophet ﷺis also reported having said, “Avoid a [contagious] disease the way a person flees from a lion”(Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhārī,  Hadīth5707). ʻAmr Bin Al-Sharīd narrated on the authority of his father that a delegation [that came to see the Prophetﷺ] from Thaqīf had a man with leprosy. [He wanted to approach the Prophet and give his pledge of allegiance]. The Prophet ﷺsent a message to him: “We have accepted your allegiance, so go back.” We learn from these narrations that one must practice social distancing in order to not contract a disease. Therefore, taking precautions to avoid the spread of infectious disease is something prescribed in Islām, and such precautions can take precedence over recommended acts such as shaking hands, eating food together from the same plate to increase friendship and love, and even the performance of congregational prayers, etc.

Only Allah knows best

Written by Shaykh Umer Khan

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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