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2020.03.16 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Friday prayers suspended until further notice

posted Mar 16, 2020, 7:14 PM by Shereen El-Kadi

Assalamu Alaikum dear brothers and sisters,

After numerous consultations with many healthcare professionals, religious scholars and in keeping with the world’s best practices to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, effective immediately the Friday Jumua’h prayers will be suspended until further notice. 

According to the Fundamentals of Jurisprudence, we find dispensations when there is a threat to the health and well-being of people. One is the dropping of an act, like congregational prayers, fasting, Hajj, or Umra due to a Shari’a approved reason.

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: لا يُورَدُ مُمْرِضٌ على مُصِحٍّ

“The sick should not mix with a healthy one”. (Bukhari in his Sahih collection)

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم excused those who were sick from attending congregational prayers:

مَنْ سَمِعَ الْمُنَادِي فَلَمْ يَمْنَعْهُ مِنَ اتِّبَاعِهِ عُذْرٌ لَمْ تُقْبَلْ مِنْهُ تِلْكَ الصَّلاةُ الَّتِي صَلاهَا” قَالُوا: مَا عُذْرُهُ ؟ قَالَ: خَوْفٌ أَوْ مَرَضٌ

“He who hears the caller to prayer, but finds no excuse not to respond, his prayer that he prays (alone) will not be accepted.” The companions asked, “What is an ‘excuse.'” He responded, “Fear or sickness.” (Al-Sunna al-Saghir, Hadith 241.)

Considering these Islamic guidelines and principles, the suspension of an act of worship is not only permissible, but is prudent and in alignment with the teaching of Islam when done in order to protect worshipers and the public from a threat to their health.

We are now consulting experts on the need, and if appropriate, to suspend all congregational daily prayers in addition to the Jumua’h prayer. In Islam, a primary principle is that “preventing harm takes precedence over the acquisition of benefits”. We understand that this is an extraordinary moment for our community, our nation, and the world at large, and we are committed to ensuring the fulfillment of the spiritual needs of our community during this time, therefore, we will continue to update our website iio.org and our phone recording at (808) 947-6263 as soon as we have new information. 

May Allah SWT bestow His mercy and protect you and your families during this trying time of tribulation. This is a test of our faith and our willingness to do what is good and right for the community at large and not focus selfishly on our own wants and desires. Be safe and stay vigilant with your hygiene practice. May Allah be with each of us and keep us close to Him. Ameen.