Leaving Jamaat because of social distancing ?
How can I convince a brother who deliberately misses Jumua Salah and daily prayers in the Masjid because he disagrees with social distancing and considers it unislamic and innovation to pray in the Masjid with the congregation? He considers the Ulema who allow social distancing to have deviated. What should I tell this brother?
Answer: ﺑﺴﻢ اﷲ اﻟﺮﺣﻤﻦ اﻟﺮﺣﯿﻢ In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
It is sinful for someone upon whom the Jumua prayer is obligatory to miss it without a valid excuse. Also, it is sinful for someone to discard praying the five daily prayers in jamaat without a valid excuse. It is mentioned in a Hadith: Translation: Ibn Abbas (RA) was asked about a man who fasts during the day and stands during the night (in prayer), however, he does not attend the Jumua and congregational prayers. Ibn Abbas (RA) said, “He is in the fire.” In another narration the Prophet (SAW) said:
Translation: Whoever misses three Jumuas without a valid excuse is a hypocrite.
Not attending the Masjid because of people practicing social distancing is not a valid excuse, hence if the brother neglects fulfilling his obligations (e.g., Jumua prayer, praying with jamaat), he will be sinful. Besides, he should be careful regarding what he says about scholars. The scholars of Islam have a very high status in Islam, and it is a major sin to slander them. The true scholars issue fatwas based on sound knowledge and principles. Many a time, people make such objections due to a lack of knowledge and understanding.
For more details regarding social distancing during prayer, kindly refer to the following link: https://daruliftabirmingham.co.uk/pandemic-advice-adopting-social-distanci ng-regulations-in-the-masajid/
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham