The Original Muslim Response to Plagues and Masajid

The Original Muslim Response to Masajid and Plagues-1 (1)

The Original Muslim Response to Plagues and Masajid

Shakeel Rahman, Imam of the Islamic Center of Burlington
Written: March 20, 2020 – Rajab 25, 1441

بسم هللا والصالة والسالم على رسول ه
Introduction
This piece is written to explain the rationale behind maintaining the masjid prayers and
Jumu’ah. This is not to reject precautions or deny medical research. This is merely to
demonstrate that the scholars who have issued this ruling are not speculating, practicing
“folk religion,” or committing “homicide.” Indeed, people have issued such harsh words
about scholars pertaining to this issue, as if this issue existed in a vacuum without any
precedent from our tradition. This is to show that the scholars have given opinions in
worse situations, the Masajid were maintained even in the darkest times, and how Muslims were not ignorant of how plagues worked. All of this is to demonstrate that the scholars made their decisions by examining both medicine and Deen, maintaining the rights of Allah, one of His Shi’ar (hallmarks) of Deen in the world, while respecting the rights of Muslims, such as washing, burials, and Janazah. This is not encouraging anyone to violate government restrictions. Rather, this is reminding ourselves that we chose to close the doors instead of attempting to control the situation with protocols. Our duty is to keep the masajid open, while taking as many precautions as possible. Hafiz Ibn Hajar (RA) says, “the relied on position is following (those before), and there is no room for analogy in this.”
(Badhl al-Ma’un fi Fadl al-Ta’un, pg. 330)
Although we will touch on some Fiqhi issues, this will not cover all the Fiqhi details. For a thorough study from an Usuli approach, especially the discussions of Rukhsah vs. Azimah, you may refer to Tahrir al-Maqasid wa Tahrim Ta’til al-Masajid by Shaykh Hatim al-Mutiri.

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