During Friday, I replace the Jummah with Zuhr prayer during this pandemic. Mosques are open but I do not want to go outside because the situation is still bad in my country. So I pray 4 rakats of Zuhr at home every Friday. Am I sinful for this? And is it applicable that I leave the fold of Islam due to intentionally missing Jummah even if I pray Zuhr?
Bismillah Hir Rahmaan Nir Raheem
As Salaamu 3laykum,
I hope you are doing well. So the first part we will need to establish is that is there anything in the Quraan or ahadith that talk about pandemics, plagues, etc. Here are some ahadith that talk about the plague.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place." (Bukhari in the chapter called medicine).
(the wife of the Prophet) that she asked ALLAAH Messenger (ﷺ) about plague, and Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) informed her saying, "Plague was a punishment which ALLAAH used to send on whom He wished, but ALLAAH made it a blessing for the believers. None (among the believers) remains patient in a land in which plague has broken out and considers that nothing will befall him except what ALLAAH has ordained for him, but that ALLAAH will grant him a reward similar to that of a martyr." (Bukhari in the chapter of medicine)
ALLAAH Messenger (ﷺ) said, "Plague was a means of torture sent on a group of Israelis (or on some people before you). So if you hear of its spread in a land, don't approach it, and if a plague should appear in a land where you are present, then don't leave that land in order to run away from it (i.e. plague). (Bukhari in the chapter called Prophets)
The second part now comes to define what is a plague. We see in Merriam-Webster Dictionary that a plague is:
an epidemic disease causing a high rate of mortality
The third part should be viewed if there are any exceptions. In which there is in the case of the masjid is destroyed, or inaccessible or having people pray would be a huge hardship. In your case if there is evidence that covid truly could harm you while praying in the mosque with all precautions (mask, social distancing, etc.) then there could be allowance given to the person to pray at home.
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, used to order the caller to say on a cold, rainy night, “Surely, pray in your homes.” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 635, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 697)
First Question Answer
To arrive at an answer we need to see if covid fits the definition of a plague. When looking at the ahadith and the definition it would not be considered a plague. So with that being said it is still compulsory to go the masjid for jummah prayers (if you are worried you can always wear a mask and sanitize properly) and if the masjid is very far away then to create your own group to do the khutbah and jummah prayer. Of course as long as there is no fear for your safety and health by praying at the mosque.
Second Question Answer
For your second question it depends that if it was done out of negligence or not.
the Prophet (ﷺ) said: "Whoever missed three jumu'ahs out of negligence, ALLAAH will place a seal over his heart." (Nasai, in the The Book of Jumu'ah)
‘Abdallah b. ‘Amr reported the Prophet as saying, “The Friday prayer is obligatory on him who hears the call.” (Abu Dawud in the chapter called prayer)
In your case it seems that you were worried for your safety. However, now you have proofs and will need to go from now on.
Have a Nice Day!
Note #1: If anyone downvotes my answer, please be courteous and say why it was downvoted in a comment below.
Note #2: This is my own personal answer that I have derived from what I have researched.
Friday Prayer (Salat al-Jumu'ah) is an important congregational prayer that is obligatory for adult Muslim men who are not traveling or sick. Friday Prayer is held during the time of Zuhr prayer, and it consists of a sermon (khutbah) followed by a congregational prayer.
It is not permissible for a Muslim to skip Friday Prayer and pray only Zuhr prayer instead, as Friday Prayer is a separate and distinct obligation that cannot be substituted with any other prayer. The Quran states, "O you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu'ah [Friday], then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew" (surah Al-Jumu'ah, verse 9).
Missing Friday Prayer without a valid excuse is considered a sin in Islam, and one should make an effort to attend the congregational prayer whenever possible. However, if someone has a valid excuse such as illness, travel, or work that prevents them from attending Friday Prayer, they are excused and may pray Zuhr prayer instead.
In summary, Friday Prayer is a separate and obligatory prayer in Islam that cannot be substituted with any other prayer, including Zuhr prayer. It is important for Muslims to make an effort to attend Friday Prayer whenever possible, unless they have a valid excuse.