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A statement issued by the Irish Council of Imams Re. COVID-19

An abrupt epidemic, spread in various countries named Coronavirus COVID-19 by specialists, caused concern all over the word especially as it raised the death- toll in many countries, a matter that drove many countries to adopt precautionary procedures.

Consistent with Islamic teachings, the ICI presents the following preventive procedures:

Since it holds humans’ health as a valuable matter, Islam elucidates on preventive tools and methods of treatments. Hygiene is not only an act of worship but also an obligation. A Muslim’s prayer is not accepted unless the place where one prays is pure, the dress wherein one prays is pure and her/his body is pure. Body purity is obtained by washing certain organs, a practice repeated five times a day. The organs e.g. hands and face, washed five times a day are the most susceptible organs to infection.
Islam instructs Muslims to apply certain procedures leading to what is called healthy society. The Islamic health instructions highlight a number of medical preventive procedures e.g. instructions preventing contagious diseases including isolation, no travel to and from a land where an epidemic is spread, seeking cure, and vaccinations. These are stressed in a number of Quranic verses and prophetic traditions.

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, says:

“Let the unwell not be mixed with the healthy.”

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, says:

“If you hear of an epidemic in a land travel not thereto, whereas if it is in a land where you are leave it not escaping it.”

Based on the above mentioned the ICI urges Muslims to be careful and take all precautionary actions and abide by the instructions issued by health authorities and those in charge of functions, centres and organizations.

The ICI exhorts Imams to save no efforts to prevent the spread of this epidemic, contribute to raising awareness and avoid spreading rumours. Congregational prayers and Friday’s prayers may not be established and schools and universities may be closed, if needed. The Muslim jurists have consensually stated that the obligation of Friday’s prayers and attending congregational prayers is removed by illness and fear for one’s life or the life of a family member.

Allah says:

“Observe your duty towards Allah as much as you can.” (Trans. 64:16)

Allah says:

“Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties.” (Trans. 02:185)

Allah says:

“and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion.” (Trans. 78)

The Muslim jurists state that it is permissible to miss congregational prayers and Friday’s prayers in the case of rain that drives one to covering his head.

Abdullah b. 'Abbas reported that he said to the Mu'adhdhin on a rainy day:
When you have announced "I testify that there are no gods but God; I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah," do not say:" Come to the prayer," but make this announcement:" Say prayer in your houses." He (the narrator) said that the people disapproved of it. Ibn 'Abbas said: Are you astonished at it? He (the Prophet), who is better than I, did it. Jumu'a prayer is no doubt obligatory, but I do not like that I should (force you) to come out and walk in mud and slippery ground.

If this is the case in the case of rain then it is confirmed in the case of expected diseases. The Muslim jurists state that Friday prayers become an obligation when one is healthy and the absence of what makes the journey to the mosque unconformable e.g. pain or illness.


10 Rajab 1441 H. Corresponding to 04/03/2020

Sheikh Hussein Halawa, Chairman

Sheikh Yahia Al-Hussein, Deputy Chairman

The Irish Council of Imams
19 Roebuck Road Dublin 14 Ireland
Phone: +353 1 2195454
+353 1 2603708
E-mail: irishimamcouncil @gmail.com

Download the statement here.