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In a Nutshell: Closing the masjid temporarily is necessary to prevent widespread harm and death and praying at home is permitted to avoid catching or spreading the virus.

You can pray at home due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak that is spreading around the world as the Prophet (saw) permitted those who are sick or ill to pray at home, rather than in congregations at the mosque. Even cancelling of the jummua prayers are permitted with worshippers praying zuhr at home in its place.

Evidences

From amongst the evidences cited include the hadith where the Prophet (saw) said,

"There is no harming or reciprocating harm." (al-Sunan al-Kubra 11070)

Once on a rainy day, the prophet's companion Ibn Abbas delivered a sermon and when the muezzin pronounced the adhan, he said,

'Haiya ala salat (come to the prayer)' Ibn Abbas ordered him to say, 'Pray at your homes.' The people began to look at each other (surprisingly). Ibn Abbas said. "It was done by one who was much better than I and it is a permission of ease.' (Bukhari)

The Prophet (saw) also advised: "Do not put the sick with the healthy", "Run from the leper like you run from a lion" and "If you heard of a plague in a land, then do not enter it; and if you are in a land and it enters, then do not leave it."

Scholar's Views

Many contemporary scholars are saying the same in their pronouncements. Dr. Ali Ahmad Masha'el, the Grand Mufti at the Dubai Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities, has said:

"Muslims may pray at home in times of epidemics, wars and human crises, as well as if they fear for their lives."

Meanwhile, Al Azhar University has permitted the temporary halting of Friday and mass prayers at mosques due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the Council of Senior Scholars saying:

"Muslims are allowed to not perform Friday and congregational prayers at mosques since gatherings contribute to the spread of the coronavirus epidemic... Although Friday prayer is held in congregation at mosques every week and the five daily prayers are also preferred to be performed at mosques, Muslims are exempted from attending prayers at mosques due to growing COVID-19 concerns."


Conclusion

In conclusion, closing the masjid temporarily is necessary to prevent widespread harm and death and praying at home is permitted to avoid catching or spreading the virus.


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