There Is Social Distancing In TheMasjid – What Should I Do?

Question: In my area musjid, ‘no mask no entry’, ‘observe social distancing’ and ‘bring your own Musallah’ are boldly printed and pasted as rules and guidelines for us Musallis to observe. All Musallis stand about 1m to 1.5m away from each other during Jamaat Salaah. A security guard stands at the entrance where he ensures that we enter with masks on our faces – like thieves going to a musjid? – and carry along our own Musallahs. The
security guard also sanitizes the Musallis entering the musjid with hand-sanitizers. I dislike observing such acts in the musjid. My heart doesn’t feel comfortable to follow these guidelines and laws which are enforced more strictly by our own Muslims than by the government. Therefore, few of us have agreed upon meeting at a certain man’s house to perform our Salaah in Jamaat. We manage to read our Fajr, Maghrib and Esha in this
manner. Due to the brothers gone out during the day for work, Zuhr and Asr is not read in Jamaat. I read these two Salaahs alone in my house. Kindly comment on this. Is it fine for me to read these two Salaahs alone, or should I go to the musjid for these two Salaahs?
Lastly, I have heard a senior Aalim mentioning in his bayaans that we are supposed to frequent the musjids. He said that the musjids are empty whereas we are supposed to fill them up, especially during these times that we are going through. What should I do? Does it mean I should go to the musjid where social distancing takes place in compliance to the senior Aalim’s advice? Kindly assist.

Answer: Alhamdulillah, we have published a book discussing these type of guidelines which are enforced by Muslims in the Houses of Allah Ta’ala – the Masaajid. Insha Allah, your questions will be answered by reading this book. The book can be viewed with this link:
Muslims standing in Saffs with NO gaps in between each other is tremendously loved by Allah Ta’ala. An entire Surah is named as Suratus-Saff in the Qur’an Majeed. In various places in the Qur’an Majeed mention is made of the Saff/s. Suratus-Saaffaat (the Surah after Surah Yaa Seen) begins by Allah Ta’ala taking an Oath on those Angels who stand in Saffs.
Numerous Ahaadith encourage the filling of the Saffs. We have written an article previously mentioning some of those Ahaadith. Hence, social distancing in the Saffs during Jamaat Salaah is not permitted.
The description of what takes place in your area Masjid is indeed very sad. The sadness cannot be penned in words. Make Du’a to Allah Ta’ala that the reality and beauty of Islaam, the love for the Masjid and the Sunnah enter into the hearts of those in charge of your Masjid as well as all the Masaajid in the world where such un-Islamic guidelines are adhered to and strangely ‘enforced’ very meticulously by Trustees, Molvis and Musallis. It will be interesting to note if the rules and guidelines are enforced with the same stringency in the businesses, work places (offices), surgeries and other places owned by (these) Muslims.
Regarding your concern, note the following:

  1. In this case where a mockery of Salaah is enforced in your local Masjid by social distancing in the Saffs, do not attend such a Masjid. If you are living in a big residential area where there are several Masaajid, then look for a Masjid where there are no such guidelines enforced. Surely, you will find one such Masjid – Insha Allah.
  2. If there is no nearby Masjid or this is the only Masjid in your locality, then the Jamaat Salaah which you are observing as you have described is correct. It is better to arrange for the performance of Salaah in a manner that is not alien-to-Deen, rather than performing it in a total anti-Sunnah / alien-to-Deen manner.
  3. Try to find someone – even one person – for Zuhr and Asr with whom you can make Jamaat. However, if no one is available, then perform these Salaahs alone, instead of going to the Masjid where Salaah is performed in a tsotsi-style, i.e. with face-masks and social distancing after sanitizing one’s hands with most probably alcohol based sanitizers when entering the House of Allah Ta’ala.
  4. Regarding the advice of the senior Aalim, it applies to frequenting those Masaajid where there are no alien-to-Deen and funny styles, ways and modes of Salaah enforced such as social distancing in the Saffs and enforcing an unhealthy mask to be worn for Salaah.
    The senior Aalim most probably refers and directs his advice and plea to a particular locality’s Muslims who are privileged to have a Masjid where Muslims don’t debar fellow Muslims from entering due to some guidelines offered to distance Muslims from the Masaajid. Surely, no senior Aalim who is known to propagate the correct Deen all his life will encourage Muslims to frequent a Masjid where social distancing takes place for Salaah.
    Hence, as long as the Masjid in your area observes anti-Sunnah activities for Salaah, then find an alternative Masjid where there is NO un-Islamic guidelines observed. If there is no such Masjid, then you should speak to a few brothers who also disagree with the un-Islamic activities in your local Masjid, and start a small Musallah (JamaatKhanah). Start off small – even if it be just three brothers behind the Imaam, but remain punctual on it. Insha Allah, Allah Ta’ala will send more Musallis to join. In this way, at least Jumu’ah Salaah can be performed in the correct Sunnah way.
    May Allah Ta’ala guide all of us, Aameen.

Custodians of the Haq
Amr-bil-Ma’roof Nahi-anil-Munkar
The Haq Sounds Like Hate To Those Who Hate The Haq
“Speak the Haq even if it is bitter” (Hadith)

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