Before the Tier 4 Lockdowns in the United Kingdom I received many questions regarding Jumuah Salah sensitivities given the Covid-19 rules and short winter times.
In terms of the timings of the Salah, I’ve shared my advise on this privately to Imams who have written in, and it is for them to decide on the scope of ‘fiqhi’ precedence they wish to apply regarding this matter with their communities.
In terms of the extent of one’s effort to attend the Jumuah prayer, then for those who do not fear cathing Covid-19, or fear being a means of harming those who are considered vulnerable within the same household, I share the following seven points below for your consideration.
N.B. As for those who fear catching Covid-19, or fear becoming a means of harm falling upon those considered vulnerable in their households, the obligation of Jumuah would be lifted, with the Thuhr prayer taking its place. This was discussed in a dedicated video by myself earlier in 2020 when the first wave of mass lockdowns were implemented. See here.
As for the seven points related to this guidance, then these are as follows:
- Everyone must do their best to attend the Jumuah prayer given its obligatory nature and significance in Islam, and accordingly register their Jumuah space with the Masaajid they consider as respectively local, as soon as registrations for the listed Masjid/Masaajid open.
- If you forget to register at the earliest opportunity and find all the available slots taken upon eventual attempts to register, you are not sinful InShaAllah.
- I don’t believe it’s an obligation for a person to register their Jumuah slot with a distant Masjid that has available slots if it entails bringing difficulty upon them due to travelling distances considered far based on the norms of the place that a person resides in. If a person does make the effort to go to a distant Masjid to observe the Jumuah there, despite its distance, they will be rewarded accordingly by Allah Almighty InShaAllah.
- I have been made aware that some Masaajid do not require registrations, but offer their congregations entry upon a first come, first serve basis. For these Masaajid, the opening guidance of point one above applies, and in the event of failure to join the Jumuah proceedings, a person will not be sinful, InShaAllah, and the guidance of point six below would apply.
- Some scholars have opined that a gathering of a minimum of four males qualify them to conduct the Jumuah prayer. If the rules of the land don’t forbid them gathering at a particular venue to conduct the Jumuah prayer, then this option can be explored, and one’s local Ulama body should be consulted regarding this.
- In the event that Jumuah isn’t observed, then the Thuhr prayer should be performed.
- Allah Almighty says:
“So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can” (i.e. Apply His commands to the best of your ability).
And The Messenger (saw) said:
“If I forbid you to do a thing, then avoid it, and if I command you to do a thing, then do as much of it as you can” (Narrated by Imam Muslim).
Imam anNawawi said in his explanation of Saheeh Muslim:
“The words of the Prophet (saw), “If I command you to do a thing, then do as much of it as you can”, form one of the basic principles of Islam, and is an example of the conciseness of speech which was bestowed upon him (saw). This includes innumerable rulings, such as prayers of all kinds. If a person is unable to do some of the essential parts of the prayer or fulfil some of its conditions, he may do the rest. If he is unable to wash some of the parts that should be washed in wudoo’ or ghusl, he should wash what he can. If he finds water that is only enough to wudoo’ or wash off some impurity partially, he should do whatever he can, and so on. If he finds something to cover only part of his ‘awrah, or he learns some of alFaatihah and not all of it, he should do whatever he can, and so on. This is well known in the books of fiqh.”
Finally, for those who fall within the exceptional catagory of this guidance, and those who fail to get Jumuah slots, please try and attend the Masjid from time to time for the smaller, less attended daily prayers just to maintain the all important spiritual connection to the house of Allah and the Muslim congregation in general which is one of the objectives of the pillar of Salah generally, and Jumuah particularly.
And Allah knows best.
Dr. Sajid Umar