As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,
In light of the present situation in our country where the Government has instructed all citizens to ‘stay at home’ and not to ‘come out’ except for essential goods and services, it is necessary for all Muslims to abide by these laws and must not do anything to violate them.
However, as Muslims, while we are required to follow the laws given in our country, we must also seek to fulfill our religious obligations to the best of our abilities without breaking the laws of our country. Therefore, the following are guidelines which are given to help us fulfill our duties as Muslims-:
- We are encouraged to perform all our daily Salah at home and must not come out to go to the Masjid for these Salah.
As for the Masjid, since there is no law of the government to close it and also there is no valid Shariah reason to close it(lock it), it should remain opened for the five daily Salah. With respect to who will perform Salah in it, then this can be done by one, two or three male adults who may already have the permission to exit their homes based on their jobs or a valid reason to attend to essential goods and services. Muslim male adults living in an area where a masjid is situated and who have a valid reason/excuse to exit their homes should be informed and encouraged to visit the mosque to call the adhan and perform Salah.
As Muslims, we must remember that it is ‘Fardh Al Kifayah’ (compulsory on a sufficing basis) to fulfil the rights of the Masjid, and from the rights of the Masjid is that adhan should be called and the five daily Salah should be performed in it. Even if one person does this, it will suffice.
- In case of Jumu’ah Salah, the Imam/management of the Masjid should identify four male adults who already have valid reasons/excuses (according to the law) to exit their homes, and request them to fulfil the duty of performing the Jumu’ah Khutbah/Salah. One person will act as the Imam and the other three will be followers. If this is not possible and only three or less persons can reach the Masjid for the Jumu’ah time, then the Jumu’ah Salah will not be performed, but the Dhuhr Salah will be read instead. The other Muslims of that community must perform Dhuhr Salah at their homes.
- There is an allowance however, (as given by reliable scholars), for a minimum of four male adults to gather together and perform the Jumu’ah Khutbah/ Salah at a house. They must be such Muslims upon whom Jumu’ah has become compulsory. Therefore, these four people must be those males who have reached the age of puberty already. From among them, one person will deliver the two Khutbahs and lead the Salah, while the other three will be followers. For the Khutbah, two adhan are not necessary. A Mimbar is also not necessary. Only one Adhan can be called in front of the person delivering the Khutbah while he sits on a chair. He will then stand in front of the others and deliver the Arabic Khutbah. After the first Khutbah, he will sit on the chair again for a pause, and then stand to deliver the second Arabic Khutbah. After this, the two rakaats of Jumu’ah Salah will be performed.
If it is not possible for four adult males to gather to have Jumu’ah at a home, then Dhuhr Salah will be performed by the Muslims at their homes.
With respect to the Masajid, as mentioned before, these must be opened for the five daily Salah. However, no one is allowed to break the government’s law in order to visit the mosque for the five daily Salah or for Jumu’ah Salah. Generally, Muslim males, under this present ‘lock down’ must perform their Salah at home. The Masajid will be visited by those who are already on the road and have valid reasons to exit their homes to attend to essential goods and services, including attending to their jobs and other essential works. It is seen on a daily basis that brothers who are on the road, and are occupied in different jobs, do stop at different Masajid for Salah. They also stop at different Masajid to perform their Jumu’ah Salah. Therefore, in this state of ‘lock down’ where it is difficult for the general Muslims to come out of their homes to attend the Masajid for the daily Salah and Jumu’ah, those male adult Muslims who are already on the road for the sake of their jobs and/or other matters which are deemed to be essential in accordance with the law, (they) can fulfill this duty of the Masjid by being there for the different Salah. They must therefore, make the arrangement to visit the Masjid for a few minutes for the Fardh Salah while they are already out of their homes (especially those of the community).
And Allah knows best
Mufti Waseem Khan
Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago
This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.