Basis of performing Eid Ṣalāh during lockdown
May Allah reward you for the Eid Ṣalāh guidelines. Some people are asking that previously Ẓuhr Ṣalāh has been advised instead of Jumuʿah Ṣalāh, and now you are suggesting that Eid Ṣalāh can be performed, is this not a contradiction? If Jumuʿah Ṣalāh is not valid in the home, then Eid Ṣalāh should also be invalid?
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بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
May Allah reward you for contacting us and seeking this clarification.
Our consistent position from the outset of the lockdown is that Jumuʿah Ṣalāh is valid under the lockdown, whether performed at Masjid or at the home, subject to the participation of four bāligh (mature) males. This has been outlined in our Ramadan guidelines as well as our earlier answer. It is a separate matter that we recommend Ẓuhr Ṣalāh for the homes due to some specific reasons which will be outlined shortly.
Validity of Jumuʿah and Eid Ṣalāh during the lockdown
The basis for the validity of Jumuʿah Ṣalāh in the Masjids and the homes under lockdown in the UK is that the conditions of Jumuʿah Ṣalāh stipulated in the Ḥanafī fiqh are fulfilled in our view. The restrictions imposed by the Government on Masjids and other settings are for a valid reason of health, well-being and protection of lives. Jurists have mentioned that restrictions can be imposed, for example due to security reasons, however, the primary objective must not be to limit entry for Ṣalāh, and the restrictions in one venue should not prevent others from performing or establishing Jumuʿah Ṣalāh in other locations (Majmaʿ al-Anhur, 1:166; Radd al-Muḥtār, 2:151; Aḥsan al-Fatāwā, 4:122; Fatāwā Maḥmūdiyyah, 12:316; Ḥāshiyah Fatāwā Darul Uloom Deoband, 5:155). This principle applies equally to small and large venues, whether Masjids or otherwise, and has been used by recent and contemporary jurists to permit Jumuʿah Ṣalāh in prisons.
Some scholars are of the view that Jumuʿah and Eid Ṣalāh is valid in the Masjids during the lockdown but not in the homes. However, we have not come across in the Fiqh texts any distinction between the Masjid and non-Masjid in so far as the conditions of Jumuʿah Ṣalāh are concerned. Indeed, jurists have mentioned that if the doors of the Jāmiʿ Masjid are closed and people are prevented (under normal circumstances), the Jumuʿah Ṣalāh is invalid (al-Muḥīṭ al-Burhānī, 2:85; al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah, 1:148). Likewise, if the Muslim ruler organises Jumuʿah Ṣalāh in a non-Masjid setting, the Jumuʿah Ṣalāh is valid, although it is disliked not to establish it in the Jāmiʿ Masjid (Tabyīn al-Ḥaqāʾiq, 1:221; al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah, 1:148). This affirms that the conditions of Jumuʿah Ṣalāh apply equally to Masjids and non-Masjid settings and that the Masjid is not a prerequisite for its validity. It is a separate matter that the permission of the ruler is from the conditions of Jumuʿah Ṣalāh, this is only applicable in Muslim countries.
Further, it is our understanding that key workers in almost all the Masjids of the UK that follow the Ḥanafī school are currently performing Jumuʿah Ṣalāh and plan to perform Eid Ṣalāh. Therefore, just as Jumuʿah and Eid Ṣalāh is valid in the Masjids despite the restrictions and the doors remaining closed for a valid reason, Jumuʿah and Eid Ṣalāh is also valid in other settings including the home, as long as the other conditions are fulfilled including the participation of four bāligh (mature) males.
It must be stressed, as mentioned in our guidelines, that those who do not perform Eid Ṣalāh in the current lockdown are excused. Likewise, both Ẓuhr and Jumuʿah Ṣalāh are valid in the home and the Masjids during the lockdown, as long as the Jumuʿah Ṣalāh conditions are fulfilled.
The next question is, why Ẓuhr Ṣalāh was recommended for the homes and Jumuʿah Ṣalāh for the Masjids, and why the distinction between Eid and Jumuʿah Ṣalāh.
Why is Eid Ṣalāh preferred in the homes and Masjids?
Our advice on performing Eid Ṣalāh in the Masjids and homes during the lockdown, subject to complying with the Islamic and legal requirements, is based on the following considerations:
- Eid Ṣalāh is wājib under normal circumstances and has no substitute, unlike Jumuʿah Ṣalāh. Accordingly, if one is able to perform Eid Ṣalāh in the Masjid or the home whilst complying with the Islamic and legal requirements, this is commendable and a means of reward.
- There is a precedent for performing Eid Ṣalāh in the home. We have not come across any similar precedent for Jumuʿah Ṣalāh. It is reported that the companion Anas ibn Mālik (d. 93/711-2, may Allah be pleased with him) performed Eid Ṣalāh at home on one occasion with his household members similar to the normal Eid Ṣalāh (not just Nafl Ṣalāh) (Muṣannaf ʿAbd al-Razzāq, 5855; al-Sunan al-Kubrā, 6237; Maʿānī al-Āthār, 7289). The Arabic text of the narration is outlined here:
روى عبد الرزاق في المصنف (٥٨٥٥) عن هشيم، عن عبيد الله بن أبي بكر بن أنس، عن جده أنس بن مالك أنه كان يكون في منزله بالزاوية، فإذا لم يشهد العيد بالبصرة جمع أهله وولده ومواليه، ثم يأمر مولاه عبد الله بن أبي عتبة فصلى بهم ركعتين. ورواه الطحاوي في معاني الآثار (٧٢٨٩): حدثنا صالح بن عبد الرحمن قال: ثنا سعيد قال: ثنا هشيم قال: أخبرنا عبيد الله بن أبي بكر بن أنس بن مالك، عن جده أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه قال: إذا كان في منزله بالطف، فلم يشهد العيد إلى مصره جمع مواليه وولده، ثم يأمر مولاه عبد الله بن أبي عتبة فيصلي بهم كصلاة أهل المصر. ورواه البيهقي في السنن الكبرى (٦٢٣٧)، ولفظه: كان أنس إذا فاتته صلاة العيد مع الإمام جمع أهله فصلى بهم مثل صلاة الإمام في العيد۔
- The general masses would not struggle to fulfil the core requirement of Eid Ṣalāh. This is because the Khuṭbah is not a prerequisite for the validity of Eid Ṣalāh. Therefore, although it is strongly recommended, Eid Ṣalāh would be valid if the Khuṭbah is not delivered.
- There is flexibility in some other schools in relation to performing Eid Ṣalāh individually whether at home or otherwise, unlike Jumuʿah Ṣalāh. This demonstrates that the requirements of Jumuʿah Ṣalāh in some other schools are more stringent than the requirements of Eid Ṣalāh. Whilst there is no harm in taking this into consideration in certain situations, this is not the principal basis for our stance.
Why is Ẓuhr Ṣalāh preferred in the homes?
Our recommendation to perform Ẓuhr Ṣalāh in the homes during the lockdown is based on the following considerations:
- Ẓuhr Ṣalāh is a substitute of Jumuʿah Ṣalāh. Jurists have mentioned that if a small group of people miss Jumuʿah Ṣalāh, they will perform Ẓuhr Ṣalāh (al-Durr al-Mukhtār, 2:157). Ẓuhr Ṣalāh is the preferred option for such small groups because Jumuʿah Ṣalāh is underpinned with publicity and a large congregation, and in Muslim countries, the ruler’s permission is required. However, in non-Muslim countries, if the small group under normal circumstances was to perform Jumuʿah Ṣalāh in a Masjid or otherwise without restricting anyone, it would be valid (Imdād al-Aḥkām, 1:783), because taʿddud (multiplicity) of Jumuʿah Ṣalāh is permitted (al-Durr al-Mukhtār, 2:144; Fatḥ al-Qadīr, 2:65). Eid Ṣalāh is also underpinned with publicity and large congregation, however, it does not have a substitute, hence the difference in the current circumstance.
- Performing Jumuʿah or Ẓuhr Ṣalāh is Farḍ (compulsory). There is a difference of opinion of scholars in relation to the validity of Jumuʿah Ṣalāh in the homes. There is no difference of opinion regarding Ẓuhr Ṣalāh fulfilling the obligation of the time. As both are valid, Ẓuhr Ṣalāh is the precautionary option.
- Khuṭbah is a necessary part of Jumuʿah Ṣalāh, and some people would struggle to deliver it.
Why is Jumuʿah Ṣalāh preferred in the Masjids?
Our recommendation for key workers to perform Jumuʿah Ṣalāh in the Masjids during the lockdown, if possible, is based on the following considerations:
- The importance of continuing the core function of the Masjid in compliance with the lockdown measures. The core function of a Masjid includes the five congregational Ṣalāh and the establishment of Jumuʿah Ṣalāh.
- The vast majority of scholars regard Jumuʿah Ṣalāh in the Masjids during the current lockdown as valid.
- Jumuʿah Ṣalāh in the Masjid provides continuity and upholds the community spirit to a certain degree. Members of the local community can listen to the sermon and key advice via the internet and the receiver system. The role of Imams in advising and guiding the community during these difficult times is crucial. Thus, some of the benefits of Jumuʿah Ṣalāh would be attained albeit via virtual means.
We hope the above clarifies the basis of our recommendations, and once again, we reiterate that we have not suggested that Jumuʿah Ṣalāh is invalid in the home, as long as the conditions are fulfilled including the participation of four bāligh (mature) males.
Everyone is requested to maintain respect for the various positions of scholars in this regard as this is an issue where there is a valid difference of opinion given the unprecedented nature of the crisis. It must also be noted that under normal circumstances, Eid Ṣalāh must be performed in the Muṣallā al-Eid or the Masjid, and not the home. May Allah Almighty protect everyone and remove this calamity, so we can perform Ṣalāh in the Masjids as soon as possible.
Allah knows best
24 Ramadan 1441 / 17 May 2020
Mufti Shabbir Ahmad, Mufti Muhammad Tahir and Mufti Muhammad Ali Falahi