Should Jumuʿa prayers continue during Covid-19?
The Friday prayer (ṣalāt al-jumuʿa) holds an esteemed position within Islamic observances. It is a day when the believers are commanded to suspend their daily mundane affairs and devote time to remember God and learn from the teachings of the Quran and sunna (Quran 62:9). Throughout the centuries, the Muslim ummah has immensely benefited from the spiritual and social rewards of the Friday congregation.
In pressing times of pandemics when social distancing is advised and places of worship are shut, it is our strong recommendation to uphold these religious observances and values by committing to listen to the sermon virtually available on various platforms at its prescribed and stipulated time. People living under one roof can come together and spend time listening to the sermon and reminding each other of their religious duties as prescribed in Quran 3:110 and 103:3. This will ensure the continuity of honouring the blessed day of Friday and its associated prayers besides taking the opportunity to learn the Quran and sunna of the Prophet as propagated in the sermon. In such case, the ẓuhr prayer should be recited individually (furada).
In a situation where social distancing is required for a prolonged period, meaning that the Friday prayer cannot be observed in a congregation for weeks or months, the consideration of virtual congregation is under deliberation and research.