More masajid in Cape Town have decided to close their doors to musallees in a bid to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, an extraordinary move that has shaken the Muslim community. South Africa’s coronavirus infections have now surpassed the 100 mark, with 116 positive cases confirmed on Wednesday. This means that there are now been an increase of 31 new cases from yesterday’s announcement and that social distancing measures are now more important than ever. Mosques, churches, synagogues and other religious places of worship have had to reassess their congregational prayers to avoid the possible risk of spreading the virus. This development was prompted by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s wide-ranging plan to tackle COVID19 and his announcement that gatherings of more than 10 people are now prohibited. Masjidul Quds in Gatesville was the first masjid to take the ground-breaking decision to close its doors.
During a discussion on VOC Burning Issue on Tuesday night, the CTIEC Cape Town Ulema Board said after careful discussions with religious leaders and health scholars, they had taken a decision in the best interest of musallies and the broader public. This step, it said, was a “proactive precautionary step” which is in line with the objectives of the Quraan and Sunnah to “preserve life” and to contribute to the public good, by minimizing the risk of spreading this Covid-19 virus.
“Muslims should observe the Five Daily prayers and Thuhr Salaah on Friday instead of Jum’ah at home, preferably in Jama’ah and our Imaamat will observe it in the Masaajid under specific guidelines. You will not be guilty of committing a sin by doing this but will be rewarded as performing Salaah in a congregation in the Masjid,” said Mufti Sayed Haroon Al Azhari, Head of CTIEC Cape Town Ulama Board.
“Salaah in Jama’ah in not being suspended or abandoned but rather performed in alternative ways and venues, as taught to us by the Prophet SAW in drastic circumstances (like the seriousness of this contagious virus).
Based on the Prophetic teachings, Mufti Al Azhari said he had requested the mu-athin (caller) to give a special Athaan by adding “Salloo Fi Buyootikum” which is to inform the community to perform Salaah at home instead of coming to the Masjid.
READ THE FULL VERSION HERE: https://ctiec.co.za/2020/03/fatwa-masaajid-should-be-closed-covid-19/
In a comprehensive statement, Claremont Main Road Mosque (CMRM) said its resident Imām and muaʾdh-dhin will make the special adhān call for people to prayer at home as taught by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) during emergency times, and they will continue to perform the five obligatory salawāt, ritual prayers at the appointed times inside of the masjid to observe the function of the masjid but in a quarantined state.
“No other persons will be allowed to enter the masjid for prayer purposes. It is the masjid Boards responsibility to prevent the spread of the disease and not expose congregants to risk. Other masjid staff such as the administrator, caretaker and cleaner will also not be on site. Current building works will continue as far as it is possible,” said CMRM secretary Jaamia Galant on air.
“We are mindful of the fact that workers and professionals in the Claremont area frequent the mosque for Ẓuhr prayers and we regret that they will not have access to the masjid. We recommend that they utilize facilities at their workplace to accomplish their obligatory prayers and in the absence of such remedies they can utilize the Sharʿī dispensation under these circumstances and combine their Ẓuhr and ʿAṣr prayers as soon as they return home before Maghrib prayers (jam’ ta’khir).”
READ AN EXTRACT FROM THE CLAREMONT MAIN ROAD STATEMENT HERE:
Azzavia Masjid in Walmer Estate said different senior scholars and ‘ulama around the world, including the Higher Council of Azhari Scholars in Cairo, have provided guidance that make it clear there is a precedence for suspending the jumu’a.
“To that end, and in light of guidance from senior religious scholars, we also note that, generally speaking, the normal obligation to perform Salat al-Juma’ is suspended, until further notice. As such, we recommend that people who wish to perform Salat al-Juma’ instead perform Salat al-Dhuhr in their homes,” read the Azzavia Institute’s statement.
“As for the daily congregational prayers, we note that praying the daily prayers in congregation is normally a recommended action for individuals to do. They should be carried at home if possible, rather than in large groups at Azzawia or elsewhere. The praying of the daily prayers in congregation is also a communal obligation, which we regard as suspended in the current circumstances, although we may make arrangements to fulfil it with a bare minimum of a congregation internal to Azzawia.”
On Wednesday, the Masaajid of the Bo-Kaap unanimously decided on a “complete lockdown” at all mosques in the areas with immediate effect. Jumu-ah prayers on Fridays as well as all other prayers and activities at the masajied are suspended until further notice. The masajid said this decision “was not taken lightly”.
The Yusufeyyah masjid in Wynberg has also cancelled Jumuah for four weeks but will be open for the five regular waqts.
Al Jaamia masjid, known as Stegman Road mosque in Claremont, has immediately suspended all activities including Jumuah.
The Paarl Muslim Jamaah says the three masajid in the municipality have suspended all waqts however the athaan will continue during the suspension.
Several other mosques in Cape Town have already affected their closures, such as Zeenatul Islam masjid in District Six, Al Azhar masjid in District Six, and others.
On Wednesday, Muslim World League secretary-general Mohammed al-Iss said the temporary closure of mosques in some countries across the Islamic world is considered a “religious duty” in light of the global coronavirus pandemic.
“This is considered a religious duty dictated by the Islamic Sharia and its general and specific rules. Everybody knows that this pandemic requires taking every measure of precaution including preventing any form of gathering with no exception,” al-Issa said in a video clip exclusive to Al Arabiya.