Australian Islamic Leaders Issue Fatwa on Covid-19

Media Release:

As the 2019-novel coronavirus continues its seemingly unstoppable spread and transmission across the globe, Islamic religious leaders issued a Fatwa on Covid-19:

15th of March 2020
Important Notice: Coronavirus Update

All Praise is due to Allāh. We ask Allah to send prayers and salutations upon the Messenger of Allah.

A well known principle from among the purposes of our holistic Islamic Legal Framework (Shari’ah) is the protection of human life (nafs) from anything that may impose hardship or difficulty upon it.
As for that which threatens the existence of human life itself, then the Shari’ah is well placed to deal with it.
It is through this light that we would like to inform our fellow Muslims regarding the following:
      1. Life and death are absolutely within the decree of Allah alone, exalted be He. This is a reality, no matter what the secondary causes appear to be.
      2. No human shall die until it has completely exhaustedits destined provision (rizq) and lifespan (ajal). Death is one of the decrees of Allah. It comes through various secondary causes, such as illness, car accidents, as well as coming with no apparent cause. We just need to observe life around us to witness this reality.
      3. Secondary causes are important considerations within the Islamic Legal Framework. Our acknowledging the secondary causes is itself a part of our belief in the decree and destiny that Allah has established in this world.
a) For example, a Muslim repels the decree of illness and transmissible diseases with the decree of protection, treatment and medicine. Self isolation, quarantine and social distancing in this current environment is an integral part of prevention of harm.
b) The advice given by the Department of Health in relation to not coming into close or physical contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of Coronavirus is also part of prevention of harm. Following this advice will help prevent the transmission of this illness from someone who is infected to someone who is not infected.
c) On the issue of communicable and transmittable diseases, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “The ill should not be taken to the healthy.”
d) In light of the above, the following advice is essential to apply:
I. The following must be avoided:
1.Shaking of hands
II. It is unacceptable and irrational for the general customs and gestures of people to take precedence over sound, reliable and authoritative medical advicethat has the purpose of prevention of harmand protection of human life.
III. A person who appears to have the symptoms of coronavirus must not attend:
1. Friday Prayers (salatul jumu’ah)
2. Congregational Prayers (salatul jama’ah)
IV. The Friday Sermon (khutbah) should be brief in its duration. Those upon whom attendance at Friday Prayers is not usually obligatory should not attend the mosque (masjid) at any time in the current climate. These people include:
1. Elderly people
2. Children
3. Sick people
V. People should not be in the close vicinity of others who are ill except for the purposes of treating them, whilst at the same time applying sound measures to prevent the transmission of the illness.
VI. One of the severest and most abominable of actions that people must avoid during this period of tribulation is business owners and suppliers taking advantage of the situation by hoarding essential products in order to raise prices.
VII. A consumer is prohibited from utilizing products in a way which is extravagant and reckless, thus not providing opportunities for other people to access those products.
VIII. One of the most honorable acts of worship in times of transmissible illness is to be at the service and assistance of those who are sick.
1. This includes the exertion of effort and spending of resources to search for ways to protect human life from these viruses. Allah, exalted be He, says: “A person who saves one life, it is as if they had saved humankind in its entirety.” (Quran: Surah al-Ma’idah, Verse 32).
IX. In times of calamity, we as human beings, are in need of coming together in the spirit of cooperation and assistance.
X. Our holistic Islamic Legal Framework (Shari’ah) has permitted the non-attendance of Friday Prayers and Daily Congregational Prayers on nights when there is rain, wind and cold.
1. This is evident in the Prophetic example, as collected in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas and Ibn ‘Umar who said that during nights where there was rain, wind and cold, the Messenger of Allah used to instruct the Caller to Prayer (mu’adhin) to announce during the Call to Prayer (adhan): ‘Lo, pray in your dwellings! Lo, pray in your dwellings!’
XI. In consideration of the above mentioned points, it is hereby appropriate and relevant to apply the Islamic legal exemption that removes the obligation of attending Friday Prayers, as well as exempting people from attending the Daily Congregational Prayers in order to curb the spread of coronavirus during a time of worldwide transmission. This Islamic legal principle exempting Muslims from attending the Friday or Congregational Prayers is dependent on the announcement from the state and/or national Department of Health in relation to the scope of self isolation measures and mass gathering restrictions.
XII. We will continue to update you with relevant religious guidance as the need arises, as we process the latest advice from government and our health authorities.
XIII. As a further preventative measure, we urge all of our brethren to avoid unnecessary gatherings and social interactions, regardless of whether you are displaying symptoms of the coronavirus or not
4.During these difficult and turbulent times, we have no choice but to turn to Allah. To our fellow Muslims, we beseech you to also be focused in your supplications (du’a) to Allah, asking Him, exalted be He, to:
a) Remove all tribulation and illness.
b) Protect our land,
c) Grant safety  to all our people, and
d) Lift this transmissible illness from all people
NB. This announcement is a selected summary from a comprehensive Islamic legal analysis of the issue at hand. The full analysis will be made available on the website of the Australian National Imams Council. Anyone seeking further clarification on proofs and evidences relating to this issue will be able to find more details in the published paper in the coming days.
With this, We ask Allah Almighty to protect you all.
For the latest medical advice related to the Coronavirus in Australia, please visit: by the Mufti of Australia and The Australian Fatwa Council. (@)


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