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Acts of Worship New Muslims

Performing the `Eid Prayer at Home Due to Coronavirus COVID-19, Allowed?

By Editorial Staff

May Allah accept our good deeds.
Eid Mubarak

`Eid al-Fitr (festival of fast-breaking) and `Eid al-Ad-ha (festival of sacrifice) are the two main festivals in Islam.

There are certain acts of worship and recommendable things that Muslims should observe on those days to express their gratitude to Allah.  Among these acts of worship is the ‘Eid prayer. Allah says,

“Rather, (He wills) for you to complete the number (of prescribed days) _ and that you shall extol God for (the blessing of faith to) which He has guided you, so that you may give thanks (to Him alone for easing its way and establishing you therein).” (Quran 2: 185)

The Legal Ruling Regarding the `Eid Prayer

Scholars hold different opinions concerning performing the `Eid prayer. There are three rulings as follows:

1. Individually Obligatory

This means that every Muslim must perform it. This is the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah and Ibn Taimiyah. They quoted the following Hadith to support their opinion:

Umm ‘Atiyya reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) commanded us to bring out on `Eid al-Fitr (festival of fast-breaking) and `Eid al-Ad-ha (festival of sacrifice) young women, menstruating women and purdah-observing ladies, menstruating women kept back from prayer, but participated in goodness and supplication of the Muslims. I said: Messenger of Allah, one of us does not have an outer garment (to cover her face and body). He said: Let her sister cover her with her outer garment. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

They interpret the commandment in the hadith to mean obligation. Although it is not obligatory for women to perform the prayer in congregation, the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered them to witness the `Eid prayer. This, in turn, means that it is obligatory for men.

2. Collectively Obligatory

This means that the `Eid prayer must be performed. Here, not every single person falls under the obligation but a group can perform the obligation on behalf of others.

This opinion is, however, not that strong. If the `Eid prayer is collectively obligatory, women won’t fall under the obligation which is in contradiction with the above mentioned Hadith.

3. Sunnah or Recommended

If we take the following Hadith into consideration, we can understand the commandment in the above mentioned hadith to mean recommendation. This is the opinion of the majority of the scholars.

A man from Najd with unkempt hair came to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and we heard his loud voice but could not understand what he was saying, till he came near and then we came to know that he was asking about Islam. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “You have to offer prayers perfectly five times in a day and night (24 hours).” The man asked, “Is there any more (praying)?” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) replied, “No, but if you want to offer the Nawafil (voluntary) prayers (you can).” … And then that man retreated saying, “By Allah! I will neither do less nor more than this.” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “If what he said is true, then he will be successful (i.e. he will be granted Paradise).”  (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

When to Perform the `Eid Prayer?

The `Eid prayer has the same time as Duha prayer. Duha means the morning sunshine. In the technical usage it refers to a specific time that starts about 10 or 15 minutes after the sunrise and finishes 10 or 15 minutes before the Dhuhr (noon) prayer or before it’s high noon i.e. when the sun starts to move from its highest point in the sky towards the direction of the sunset.

Where to Perform the `Eid Prayer?

The original legal ruling is that it is recommended to perform the `Eid prayer in the open, namely, outside mosques in a wide place. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) used to perform it in the desert.

Is It Allowed to Perform the `Eid Prayer at Home Due to Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic?

In their reply to this legal issue, AMJA Resident Fatwa Committee issued the following legal ruling:

The`Eid prayer is one of the obvious symbols of Islam. The scholars’ rulings on it vary, deeming it a communal obligation, an individual obligation, or at least a highly stressed sunnah.

Because that which is easy is not voided due to difficulty, so long as it is possible, even in the most stringent of circumstances, it should not be neglected.

Similar to the Jumu’ah (Friday) prayer, which is performed within its permitted framework, even if only by the masjid administration, so too should the `Eid prayer be performed.

The issue of performing the `Eid prayer at home for those who missed it in congregation is rather lenient.

While the khutbah is a condition of validity for Jumu’ah, it is a recommendation (not mandatory) for both `Eids. This is supported by the narration of ʿAbdullāh b. al-Sa’ib who said, “I attended the Eid with Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and he said, ‘We are going to deliver a sermon, so whoever wants to sit for the sermon should sit, and whoever wants to leave should leave’.” Therefore, neither the khutbah nor listening to it is a requirement of the Eid prayer.

Though the Friday prayer should be primarily performed in the masjid, the `Eidprayer is primarily performed outdoors, in an open space outside of the masjid.

Because of that, the majority of the jurists, with the exception of the Hanafis, have declared it permissible to perform it at home for whoever missed it in congregation. It has been narrated on the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that if he missed the `Eid prayer with the imam, he would gather his family and servants, and ʿAbdullāh b. Abi Utbah would lead them in two rak’at, making takbir.

Al-Muzani related from al-Shāfi’i (may Allah have mercy on him) in Mukhtasar al-Umm, that “the individual should pray both `Eids in their home, and so should the traveler, the bondservant, and the woman.”

According to the Malikis, al-Khurashy, a Maliki jurist, said, “It is recommended for whoever misses the `Eid prayer with the imam to pray it. Should that be done in a congregation or alone? There are two opinions” (summarized from Sharh al-Khurashi, 2/104).

Al-Mardawi, a Hanbali jurist, said in al-Insaf, “If they miss the prayer (meaning `Eid) it is recommended to make it up in the manner it is normally prayed (just as the imam prays it).”

The fatwa of the Permanent Committee in Saudi Arabia is based on this.

Accordingly, there is no harm in performing the `Eid prayer at home, individually or in (one’s household) congregation, for those who miss the `Eid prayer in congregation or are unable to perform it in congregation due to some constraint.

There is also nothing wrong with listening to a sermon on TV, online, and so on, after performing the `Eidprayer at home, either alone or in a private congregation, as a general reminder; because general reminders are permitted regardless of the time or setting.

How to Perform the `Eid Prayer?

The `Eid Prayer is two rak’ahs (units of prayer).

First, you make the intention in your heart for the `Eid Prayer.

Second, while facing the Qibla (direction of the Ka`bah), start your prayer with the Opening Takbir (saying Allahu Akbar).

Third, recite the opening supplication. There are a few authentic supplications. However, the most authentic supplication in this regard is the following:

‘Allahumma, baa`id baini wa baina khatayaya kama baa`adta baina l-mashriqi wa l-maghrib.

Allahumma naqqini min khatayaya kama yunaqqa th-thawbu l-abyadu mina d-danas.

Allahumma ighsil khatayaya bi l-maa’i wa th-thalji wa l-barad

(O Allah! Set me apart from my sins (faults) as the East and West are set apart from each other and clean me from sins as a white garment is cleaned of dirt (after thorough washing). O Allah! Wash off my sins with water, snow and hail.)”

Fourth, recite the recommended extra takbirs (saying Allahu Akbar). There are many divergent opinions regarding the number of the extra takbirs. However, all the opinions are acceptable according to Imam Ahmad. The majority of scholars including the shafi’i school of fiqh are of the view that you say takbir seven times. Acoording to Maliki and Hanbali schools, the number of the extra takbirs is six. It is also recommended to raise your hands to your shoulder or ears level while saying the extra takbirs. If you make a mistake or forget any of the extra takbirs, the prayer is valid.

Fifth, recite Surat Al-Fatihah (the Opening chapter of the Quran), then Surat Al-A’la (The Most High).

Six, complete the first rak’ah as you do in your usual prayer i.e. to perform ruku’ (bowing) and sujud (prostration two times) then stand up for the second rak’ah while saying Allahu Akbar.

Seventh, recite the extra takbir for the second rak’ah. This time the number of takbirs is five not including takbir while standing for the second rak’ah.

Eighth, recite Surat Al-Fatihah, then Surat Al-Ghashiyah (The Whelming).

Ninth, Complete the `Eid Prayer as you do in usual prayer.

Some Recommended Acts of the Day of `Eid

1. Eating before `Eid Prayer on `Eid Al-Fitr

On `Eid al-Fitr, it is recommended to eat dates or something else if there are not any dates before performing the prayer. This shows how obedient Muslims are in hastening to fulfill Allah’s commands by breaking the fast.

Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) never proceeded (for the prayer) on the Day of `Eid al-Fitr unless he had eaten some dates. Anas also narrated: The Prophet (ﷺ) used to eat odd number of dates.

2. Reciting Takbir in a Loud Voice

Allah says,

“Rather, (He wills) for you to complete the number (of prescribed days) _ and that you shall extol God for (the blessing of faith to) which He has guided you, so that you may give thanks (to Him alone for easing its way and establishing you therein).” (Quran 2: 185)

‘Extol God’ means to say takbir. The majority of scholars are of the opinion that the time for takbir on `Eid al-Fitr starts from after the dawn prayer until the time for performing the `Eid prayer. Others say that it starts immediately after seeing the new moon of the month of Shawwal.

There are many forms of takbir. The following is one of the most famous:

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar,

laa ilaha ill-Allah,

wa Allahu akbar, Allah akbar, wa Lillaah il-hamd

(Allah is the Most Great, Allah is the Most Great, there is no god but Allah, Allah is the Most Great, Allah is the Most Great, and for Allah is all praise).

3. Offering Congratulations

People may offer congratulations through phone calls and messages, etc. Different expressions can be used here such as ‘may Allah accept our and your good deeds’ or `Eid Mubarak’ (I wish you a blessed `Eid), etc.

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Acts of Worship New Muslims

Performing the ‘Eid Prayer at Home Due to Coronavirus COVID-19, Allowed?

By Editorial Staff

May Allah accept our and your good deeds. Eid Mubarak!

‘Eid al-Fitr (festival of fast-breaking) and ‘Eid al-Ad-ha (festival of sacrifice) are the two main festivals in Islam.

There are certain acts of worship and etiquette Muslims should observe on those days to express their gratitude to Allah.  Among these acts of worship is the ‘Eid prayer. Allah says,

“Rather, (He wills) for you to complete the number (of prescribed days) _ and that you shall extol God for (the blessing of faith to) which He has guided you, so that you may give thanks (to Him alone for easing its way and establishing you therein).” (Quran 2: 185)

The Legal Ruling Regarding the `Eid Prayer

Scholars hold different opinions concerning performing the ‘Eid prayer. There are three rulings as follows:

1. Individually Obligatory

This means that every Muslim must perform it. This is the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah and Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taimiyah. They quoted the following Hadith to support their opinion:

Umm ‘Atiyya reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) commanded us to bring out on ‘Eid al-Fitr (festival of fast-breaking) and ‘Eid al-Ad-ha (festival of sacrifice) young women, menstruating women and purdah-observing ladies, menstruating women kept back from prayer, but participated in goodness and supplication of the Muslims. I said: Messenger of Allah, one of us does not have an outer garment (to cover her face and body). He said: Let her sister cover her with her outer garment. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

They interpret the commandment in the hadith to mean obligation. Although it is not obligatory for women to perform the prayer in congregation, the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered them to witness the ‘Eid prayer. This, in turn, means that it is obligatory for men.

2. Collectively Obligatory

This means that the ‘Eid prayer must be performed. Here, not every single person falls under the obligation. A group can perform the obligation on behalf of others.

This opinion is, however, not that strong. If the ‘Eid prayer is collectively obligatory, women won’t fall under the obligation which is in contradiction with the above mentioned Hadith.

3. Sunnah or Recommended

If we take the following Hadith into consideration, we can understand the commandment in the above mentioned hadith to mean recommendation. This is the opinion of the majority of the scholars.

A man from Najd with unkempt hair came to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and we heard his loud voice but could not understand what he was saying, till he came near and then we came to know that he was asking about Islam. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “You have to offer prayers perfectly five times in a day and night (24 hours).” The man asked, “Is there any more (praying)?” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) replied, “No, but if you want to offer the Nawafil (voluntary) prayers (you can).” … And then that man retreated saying, “By Allah! I will neither do less nor more than this.” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “If what he said is true, then he will be successful (i.e. he will be granted Paradise).”  (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

When to Perform the ‘Eid Prayer?

The ‘Eid prayer has the same time as Duha prayer. Duha means the morning sunshine. In the technical usage it refers to a specific time that starts about 10 or 15 minutes after the sunrise and finishes 10 or 15 minutes before the Dhuhr (noon) prayer or before it’s high noon i.e. when the sun starts to move from its highest point in the sky towards the direction of the sunset.

Where to Perform the ‘Eid Prayer?

The original legal ruling is that it is recommended to perform the ‘Eid prayer in the open, namely, outside mosques in a wide place. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) used to perform it in the desert.

Is It Allowed to Perform the ‘Eid Prayer at Home Due to Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic?

In their reply to this legal issue, AMJA Resident Fatwa Committee issued the following legal ruling:

The Eid prayer is one of the obvious symbols of Islam. The scholars’ rulings on it vary, deeming it a communal obligation, an individual obligation, or at least a highly stressed sunnah.

Because that which is easy is not voided due to difficulty, so long as it is possible, even in the most stringent of circumstances, it should not be neglected.

Similar to the Jumu’ah (Friday) prayer, which is performed within its permitted framework, even if only by the masjid administration, so too should the Eid prayer be performed.

The issue of performing the Eid prayer at home for those who missed it in congregation is rather lenient.

While the khutbah is a condition of validity for Jumu’ah, it is a recommendation (not mandatory) for both Eids. This is supported by the narration of ʿAbdullāh b. al-Sa’ib who said, “I attended the Eid with Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and he said, ‘We are going to deliver a sermon, so whoever wants to sit for the sermon should sit, and whoever wants to leave should leave’.” Therefore, neither the khutbah nor listening to it is a requirement of the Eid prayer.

Though the Friday prayer should be primarily performed in the masjid, the Eid prayer is primarily performed outdoors, in an open space outside of the masjid.

Because of that, the majority of the jurists, with the exception of the Hanafis, have declared it permissible to perform it at home for whoever missed it in congregation. It has been narrated on the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that if he missed the Eid prayer with the imam, he would gather his family and servants, and ʿAbdullāh b. Abi Utbah would lead them in two rak’at, making takbir.

Al-Muzani related from al-Shāfi’i (may Allah have mercy on him) in Mukhtasar al-Umm, that “the individual should pray both Eids in their home, and so should the traveler, the bondservant, and the woman.”

According to the Malikis, al-Khurashy, a Maliki jurist, said, “It is recommended for whoever misses the Eid prayer with the imam to pray it. Should that be done in a congregation or alone? There are two opinions” (summarized from Sharh al-Khurashi, 2/104).

Al-Mardawi, a Hanbali jurist, said in al-Insaf, “If they miss the prayer (meaning Eid) it is recommended to make it up in the manner it is normally prayed (just as the imam prays it).”

The fatwa of the Permanent Committee in Saudi Arabia is based on this.

Accordingly, there is no harm in performing the Eid prayer at home, individually or in (one’s household) congregation, for those who miss the Eid prayer in congregation or are unable to perform it in congregation due to some constraint.

There is also nothing wrong with listening to a sermon on TV, online, and so on, after performing the Eid prayer at home, either alone or in a private congregation, as a general reminder; because general reminders are permitted regardless of the time or setting.

How to Perform the ‘Eid Prayer?

The ‘Eid Prayer is two rak’ahs (units of prayer).

First, you make the intention in your heart for the ‘Eid Prayer.

Second, while facing the Qibla (direction of the Ka`bah), start your prayer with the Opening Takbir (saying Allahu Akbar).

Third, recite the opening supplication. There are a few authentic supplications. However, the most authentic supplication in this regard is the following:

‘Allahumma, baa`id baini wa baina khatayaya kama baa`adta baina l-mashriqi wa l-maghrib.

Allahumma naqqini min khatayaya kama yunaqqa th-thawbu l-abyadu mina d-danas.

Allahumma ighsil khatayaya bi l-maa’i wa th-thalji wa l-barad

(O Allah! Set me apart from my sins (faults) as the East and West are set apart from each other and clean me from sins as a white garment is cleaned of dirt (after thorough washing). O Allah! Wash off my sins with water, snow and hail.)”

Fourth, recite the recommended extra takbirs (saying Allahu Akbar). There are many divergent opinions regarding the number of the extra takbirs. However, all the opinions are acceptable according to Imam Ahmad. The majority of scholars including the shafi’i school of fiqh are of the view that you say takbir seven times. Acoording to Maliki and Hanbali schools, the number of the extra takbirs is six. It is also recommended to raise your hands to your shoulder or ears level while saying the extra takbirs. If you make a mistake or forget any of the extra takbirs, the prayer is valid.

Fifth, recite Surat Al-Fatihah (the Opening chapter of the Quran), then Surat Al-A’la (The Most High).

Six, complete the first rak’ah as you do in your usual prayer i.e. to perform ruku’ (bowing) and sujud (prostration two times) then stand up for the second rak’ah while saying Allahu Akbar.

Seventh, recite the extra takbir for the second rak’ah. This time the number of takbirs is five not including takbir while standing for the second rak’ah.

Eighth, recite Surat Al-Fatihah, then Surat Al-Ghashiyah (The Whelming).

Ninth, Complete the ‘Eid Prayer as you do in usual prayer.

Some Recommended Acts of the Day of ‘Eid

1. Eating before ‘Eid Prayer on ‘Eid Al-Fitr

On ‘Eid al-Fitr, it is recommended to eat dates or something else if there are not any dates before performing the prayer. This shows how obedient Muslims are in hastening to fulfill Allah’s commands by breaking the fast.

Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) never proceeded (for the prayer) on the Day of ‘Eid al-Fitr unless he had eaten some dates. Anas also narrated: The Prophet (ﷺ) used to eat odd number of dates.

2. Reciting Takbir in a Loud Voice

Allah says,

“Rather, (He wills) for you to complete the number (of prescribed days) _ and that you shall extol God for (the blessing of faith to) which He has guided you, so that you may give thanks (to Him alone for easing its way and establishing you therein).” (Quran 2: 185)

‘Extol God’ means to say takbir. The majority of scholars are of the opinion that the time for takbir on ‘Eid al-Fitr starts from after the dawn prayer until the time for performing the ‘Eid prayer. Others say that it starts immediately after seeing the new moon of the month of Shawwal.

There are many forms of takbir. The following is one of the most famous:

Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar,

laa ilaha ill-Allah,

wa Allahu akbar, Allah akbar, wa Lillaah il-hamd

(Allah is the Most Great, Allah is the Most Great, there is no god but Allah, Allah is the Most Great, Allah is the Most Great, and for Allah is all praise).

3. Offering Congratulations

People may offer congratulations through phone calls and messages, etc. Different expressions can be used here such as ‘may Allah accept our and your good deeds’ or ‘Eid Mubarak’ (I wish you a blessed ‘Eid), etc.

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Acts of Worship New Muslims

Coronavirus: BBC Begins Broadcasting Weekly Islamic Sermons as Mosques Remain Shut

Local radio to broadcast weekly Islamic religious service in the absence of congregational prayer.

The broadcast aims to create a radio community when there can not be a physical one.

Muslim communities in the city have become able to tune in to BBC Radio Leicester on Friday mornings, when an imam will share reflections and Islamic readings.

To help Muslims self-isolating at homes, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has begun airing Islamic reflections and prayers on 14 local radio stations as mosques remain shut amid the coronavirus pandemic, Leicester Mercury reported.

From Friday, April 3, Muslim communities in the city have become able to tune in to BBC Radio Leicester on Friday mornings, when an imam will share reflections and Islamic readings.

In accordance with Government guidance, religious institutions have now closed to the public, including the many mosques across the city. The changes have affected the daily routine of many Muslims who attend a mosque regularly to pray.

Now, in addition to the weekly Christian service broadcast locally on Sundays, a spot for Muslim listeners will coincide with the day of Jummah – the Friday prayers that hold special significance in Islam.

Each week, at 5.50am, a different imam will lead the broadcast, reciting a verse from the Quran or saying from the Prophet, then translate it and talk about its relevance today followed by a minute of prayer.

A senior imam in Leeds, Qari Asim MBE, was the first to lead the weekly service.

Chris Burns, head of BBC Local Radio, said: “Local radio is all about connecting communities and we hope these weekly reflections will go some way to helping Muslims feel a sense of community while they are isolating.”

While many Muslims already pray at home, for some people an absence congregational prayer in a mosque will be missed, especially during Ramadan.

The religious services have begun broadcasting on 14 local radio stations across the UK, including Leicester.

The broadcasts will also be available to listen to afterwards on the BBC Sounds website.

The stations broadcasting the reflections are:

Leeds

Sheffield

Lancashire

Manchester

WM

Leicester

Stoke

Derby

Nottingham

Coventry and Warwickshire

Three Counties

London

Merseyside

Berkshire


Source: https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk with some modifications

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FEATURED New Muslims

Can the Power of Prayer Alone Stop a Pandemic like the Coronavirus? Even the Prophet Muhammad Thought Otherwise

By CRAIG CONSIDINE

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing governments and news sources to provide the most accurate and helpful advice to the world’s population, as the disease is indeed global in reach. Health care professionals are in high demand, and so too are scientists who study the transmission and effect of pandemics.

Muhammad said: “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague outbreaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.”

Experts like immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci and medical reporter Dr. Sanjay Gupta are saying that good hygiene and quarantining, or the practice of isolating from others in the hope of preventing the spread of contagious diseases, are the most effective tools to contain COVID-19.

Do you know who else suggested good hygiene and quarantining during a pandemic?

Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, over 1,300 years ago.

While he is by no means a “traditional” expert on matters of deadly diseases, Muhammad nonetheless had sound advice to prevent and combat a development like COVID-19.

Muhammad said: “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague outbreaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.”

He also said: “Those with contagious diseases should be kept away from those who are healthy.”

Muhammad also strongly encouraged human beings to adhere to hygienic practices that would keep people safe from infection. Consider the following hadiths, or sayings of Prophet Muhammad:

“Cleanliness is part of faith.”

“Wash your hands after you wake up; you do not know where your hands have moved while you sleep.”

“The blessings of food lie in washing hands before and after eating.”[i]

And what if someone does fall ill? What kind of advice would Muhammad provide to his fellow human beings who are suffering from pain?

He would encourage people to always seek medical treatment and medication: “Make use of medical treatment,” he said, “for God has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease—old age.”

 

Perhaps most importantly, he knew when to balance faith with reason. In recent weeks, some have gone so far as to suggest that prayer would be better at keeping you from the coronavirus than adhering to basic rules of social distancing and quarantine. How would Prophet Muhammad respond to the idea of prayer as the chief—or only—form of medicine?

Consider the following story, related to us by ninth-century Persian scholar Al-Tirmidhi: One day, Prophet Muhammad noticed a Bedouin man leaving his camel without tying it. He asked the Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered, “I put my trust in God.” The Prophet then said, “Tie your camel first, then put your trust in God.”[ii]

Muhammad encouraged people to seek guidance in their religion, but he hoped they take basic precautionary measures for the stability, safety and well-being of all.

In other words, he hoped people would use their common sense.


Source: Newsweek website

Editorial notes:

[i] This hadith is not authentic. However, a number of scholars hold the opinion that washing hands before and after eating is recommended.

[ii] Although the story is not authentic, it gives a good explanation to the concept of tawakkul (to put your trust in God)


About the author:

Dr. Craig Considine is a scholar, professor, global speaker, and media contributor based at the Department of Sociology at Rice University. He is the author of The Humanity of Muhammad: A Christian View (Blue Dome Press, 2020), and Islam in America: Exploring the Issues (ABC-CLIO 2019), among others.

 

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Ethics & Values New Muslims

The Islamic Guidance to Deal with Coronavirus COVID-19

By Kamal Amara
Councilor of Imams in Europe

Schools have been closed, sports events have been cancelled and religious and cultural institutions shut down around the world as countries try to stem the Coronavirus outbreak.

The virus has dramatically spread across Europe. In Italy, the situation was more serious and the authorities were obliged to put strict measures across the entire country to limit the infection.

This crisis has challenged European Muslim communities and raised many questions that require answers and clarification.

Those who get infected with the virus should follow and accept the safety regulations and should be patient and ask Allah(SWT) for full recovery and also be sure that patience is greatly rewarded during sickness and times of distress.

1. The basic obligations for Muslims (institutions and individuals) in the countries affected by the epidemic:

✓ It’s an Islamic obligation and civil responsibility for us to follow the instructions and guidelines of the authorities presiding over the effected countries, whether it’s in our private lives or in the Mosques and Islamic cultural centers.

✓ To be patient and work for the common good, especially Muslims who work in the health and service sectors, following the message of the Hadith: “The best among you are those who bring greatest benefits to many others” Prophet Mohammed(PBUH)

✓ Muslim researchers and scientists should unite and put their best efforts forward to come up with a vaccination against this virus as soon as possible . It is a part of Islamic teaching to believe that Allah(SWT) has created a cure for every disease, hence diligence is needed in this matter.

✓ To Avoid rumors and spreading false news and information. Muslim should try to give hope and spread positivity because everything that may happen is by Allah the Almighty’s will and decree.

✓ To take the necessary precautions and educate ourselves about this matter in detail without panicking.

*Those who get infected with the virus should follow and accept the safety regulations and should be patient and ask Allah(SWT) for full recovery and also be sure that patience is greatly rewarded during sickness and times of distress.

2. The Islamic view regarding the cancellation of Friday prayers and daily prayers in mosques:

Individuals who suspect being infected are obliged to stay away from mosques and all other crowded gatherings until they are examined and ensured that they are not infected. Doing otherwise is considered a harmful and sinful act in Islam.

Islam forbids self-harm and bringing harm to others. Furthermore Islamic rules were very sensible in the matters of respect to other to the point that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) requested from his Companions to avoid going to the mosque after eating garlic as to not bother other worshipers with its odor.
If you follow these general guidelines, it will be clearly a priority to not go to the mosque in case of an infectious virus harming others.

3. Can we leave the countries that are affected by the virus to avoid infection?

It is not allowed to leave the country in which the virus has spread for the sake of self-protection. According to the Hadith, “If you found out about it in a country, you do not enter that country, and if it hits the country you’re in, then do not leave it anymore”

If leaving, the country or region infected, has justifications other than escaping the disease and is approved by health authorities, then it is Islamically unobjectionable.

4. Can we enter countries where the virus has spread?

The simple answer is no following the guidelines of the aforementioned Hadith. In exceptional cases, such as helping authorities with efforts to contain the disease, then entrance would be permitted.

5. What borders should be considered when entering or leaving an infected area?

The official borders set out by authorities of the given country are the ones that should be observed and respected. If this such official borders are contested, then the geographical borders are to be considered, otherwise the borders known by the locals are taken into account.

6. Is it permitted to interrupt Friday and common prayers in the mosques because of the epidemic?

Human preservation is respected as one of the primary goals of Islamic jurisprudence and therefore If strong evidence is presented showing that the epidemic will spread faster through big gatherings like Friday prayers and common prayers, then these communal prayers should be canceled until the country recovers from the epidemic and the emergency status is lifted.

Islamic Council of Fatwa in Europe have already issued a corresponding press release in this regard.

7. Can the Hajj and Ummrah be canceled due to the Coronavirus?

If Muslim doctors have decided that the gathering of pilgrims will cause the virus to spread faster and pose a risk to pilgrims, the pilgrimage and Ummrah may be canceled until the danger is over and the virus has been fully eradicated.

Allah(SWT) says in the Quran:

Do not throw ( yourselves) with your ( own) hands into destruction ( by refraining). And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good. (Surat Albaqara: 195)

There are also Hadiths, mentioned above, in which the Prophet (PBUH) forbade Muslims from entering a land in which the plague is occurring and leaving a land in which the plague is happening.

Al-Bukhari (5739) and Muslim (2219) narrated from ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf (RA) that he said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “If you hear that it (the plague) is in a land, do not go there, and if it breaks out in a land where you are, do not leave, fleeing from it.”

8. What is the Islamic ruling regarding the quarantine at home or in certain designated locations?

Islam encourages and supports those in charge to take all necessary measures that seem sensible to avoid contagion among people and to contain the epidemic as justified in the hadith mentioned earlier.

9. Regarding the washing of a Coronavirus infected dead body.

Washing the dead body is the first essential step before shrouding and burying in Islam. It is a collective obligation to wash the body which means that if some people attend to it or do it, then the rest are excused.

However, if there is a risk of contagion from touching the body of the deceased, then rubbing part of the wash is excluded and instead one can simple pour an ample amount of water on the body without touching it.

If washing with water does not seem possible, then Tayammum will suffice ( to clean body parts with dry sand or earth, without using water).
If there is any risk from being in close proximity to the dead body, then it is recommended to proceed with the funeral prayers without any washing, which would be the safest option for the people around the deceased in such a scenario.

In the Holy Quran, Surat Al Baqara, Ayah 185, the approximate translation reads:

“… Allah wants relief for you; He does not want any difficulty for you … “

“Therefore fear Allah as far as you can …” (Surat Al-Taghabun:16)

10. Islamic guidelines in dealing with epidemic and protection procedures:

Islam values public health by placing very detailed measures to avoid diseases and to protect humanity from any imbalances that affect the Allah’s perfect creation.

for instance, Islamic law is considered as one of the most organised and detailed in the rulings that deal with the use of livestock. While it details the various possibilities of benefitting from animals and puts specific regulations for that, It forbids eating some animal meats. It also places strict regulations to protect the public health of people while preserving the rights of animals. Caring for animals, gentle handling of animals during slaughter, and consumption of permitted animal meat are some example of these sensible guidelines.

Islam allows good things and forbids bad ones

In the Holy Quran, Allah(SWT) says (the approximate translation reads) :

“Who follow the Messenger, the prophet with no writing, whom they find written down in the Torah and in the Gospel. He commands them the right and forbids them the reprehensible, he allows them the good things and forbids them the bad, and he takes away their burden and the bonds that were on them. …. “ (Surah Al-Araf : 157)

Also: in the Quran (the approximate translation reads) :

“I find nothing in what was given to me (as revelation) that would be forbidden for the eating to eat, unless it is dead or poured out blood or pork – because that’s an abomination – or an outrage about what other (name) than Allah (s) has been called. But whoever is in a predicament without desiring or exceeding the measure – your Lord is Forgiving and Merciful” (Surah Al-An’am: 145)

In similar verses of the Holy Quran, the approximate translation reads:

“You are forbidden (to enjoy) those who have died, blood, pork and what has been called (name) other than Allah (s), and (to enjoy) suffocated, slain, fallen or thrown, and what has been torn from a wild animal – besides what you slaughter – and (forbidden to you) what has been slaughtered on a sacrificial stone and to be released with arrows .. “ (Surah Al-Ma’ida:3)

In other Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) advises us believers not to leave our pots open with food, but to cover them.

The Importance of Personal Hygiene

Islam also emphasises the important role of personal hygiene and made a regular ritual and condition for prayer. Also, clean clothes and pleasant smell as well as good habits in everyday life were repeatedly mentioned in many hadiths of the Messenger of Allah.

In the Holy Quran,the rough translation reads:

“And your garments, purify, and the (impurity of) idol (service), avoid,” (Surat al-Muddaththir: 4-5)

Islam has Also forbidden intimate relationships outside of marriage because it has been proven that it is a source for the spread of contagious diseases in addition to their catastrophic affects on the social fabric of society.

Islam also prohibits abnormal sexual inclinations that contradict human nature.

Islamic precautions regulate and protect societies from illnesses and social conflicts and turmoil. In the event of an epidemic, it starts with people’s mental preparation for the situation right through to meeting appropriate protective measures and handling in the event of infection and finally finding a Vaccination for healing.

Finally..

In view of the fact that the virus differs in its spread and its danger in different countries, the top priority for mosques, board members, and imams is to cooperate with the local health authorities and to support them in the virus containment and disease prevention procedures, as they are more able to assess the overall situation and take appropriate measures accordingly.

May Allah the Almighty protect all of us, heal those who are in pain and have mercy on our dead. Amin!

 

 

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