By Shaikh A.D. Hakim Al-Mutairi
19 Rajab 1441 AH March 14, 2020
Question: Assalamu Alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuh
Our Honorable Shaikh,
With regards to your comments related to the fatwa which prohibits the (observance of) the five (daily) Salaats in the Masaajid in order to prevent the spread of the virus, is it not so that there is some scope of validity in their fatwa? i.e. (the principle of) warding off a greater evil (by committing the lesser of the two evils). Especially considering the fact that a person may unknowingly be a carrier of the virus in its inception stages and he then performs Salaat with the general (Muslim) public which could be a cause for the transmission of the virus.
Answer: Wa alaikumus salaam warahmatullahi wabarakaatuh
May Allah grant you a long life.
The invalidity of the fatwa to close the Masaajid and to prevent Salaat out of fear of contracting the virus is not blurred and indiscernible to those who have recognised the reality of Islam, Imaan and Tauheed.
Leave alone those who are conversant with the auxiliary issues (of Islam, Imaan and Tauheed), this fatwa is not even befitting of those who are only conversant of the primary and fundamental issues (of Islam, Imaan and Tauheed). That fatwa is merely one of the (negative) effects of the rebellious, materialistic, secular Western culture which has transformed man into a profit generating commodity over which, in the name of socialism, it's destruction and the material loss which will be borne by the state is feared; or, in the name of freedom and liberation, this Western culture has transformed man into a god which is to be worshipped instead of Allah to the extent that this worldly life of prosperity is more important to them than to the prosperity of man's Deen, Imaan and Aakhirat as espoused by Islam which has legislated Jihaad and fighting in the path of Allah and spending our lives and wealth in order for the Ahkaam (laws) of Islam to prevail.(Allah Ta'ala says):
“And fight them (the disbelievers) until there no longer remains fitnah (shirk and disbelief) and worship is only done for Allah.”
“And who is more oppressive than those who proscribe the name of Allah from being mentioned in the Masaajid?”
The Fuqaha have unanimously agreed that the protection of Deen is foremost and the most essential of the five essentials which precede the protection of life. Hence, establishing the laws of Islam is a fundamental of Deen even though it (may entail and) leads to loss of lives.
The protection of Deen takes first priority over protection of lives, and from the ways and means of protecting the Deen, is the establishment of the Zikr of Allah in His Masaajid and enlivening the Masaajid with the five (daily) Salaats, Jumuah and Jamaa'ah (congregational Salaats), regardless of whether Jamaat is Fard-e-Ayn or Fard-e-Kifaayah.
Ibn Taymiyyah has mentioned in Majmooul Fataawa (31/255): “It is not permissible to lock the Masaajid thereby preventing from the purposes for which it was erected.”