There is a lot of debate and political tension going on regarding the issue of mosques remaining open or closed in this time of corona virus.

One side is suggesting to keep the mosques open while maintaining an appropriate space between everyone and other side is saying people should pray at home.

What should be the solution to this problem?

Also I heard from someone that during a certain pandemic in the time of the Prophet (PBUH), mosques weren't shut down and people gathered to pray together. Is it true and also what kind of pandemic was that?

I mean the diseases which cause an epidemic have different ways of spreading. In the case of COVID19, it spreads through the droplets from our coughs and sneezes so we should keep a safe distance. But there are waterborne diseases, diseases carried by different animals and living beings, in these cases one shouldn't have to go on maintaining distances from each other as that won't necessarily prevent one from getting contaminated.

If someone could clarify then it would be a big help.

Thank you.

  • At the time of the prophet no pandemic happened. However the prophet gave guidelines for such cases. – Medi1Saif Apr 11 at 19:06

The way I would look at it is the severity. How severe is the COVID-19 case where you are? How safe do you feel, even with the masks? Do the Mosques in your area follow the COVID-19 guidelines? Do the people socially distance themselves, avoid physical contact, and wear masks?

The Mosques that I've been to do the following:

  1. The largest and central Mosque in my state:
    A) Completely stripped the carpet and only left 6 ft markers in intervals
    B) Closed the bathrooms (for some reason)
    C) Limit to a certain amount of people from entering.
    D) Mandate masks

  2. A smaller Mosque does the following:
    A) Order people to pray 6 feet apart (though unfortunately due to the size, people cannot fully social distance but try their best)
    B) Mandate masks
    C) Allow people to pray outside as well

  3. My least favorite experience would be this Mosque I visited out of state:
    A) Had someone check your temperature upon entry
    B) Mandated masks

I'm not too familiar with a plague/pandemic during the Prophet's time, but Allah advises us to never put ourselves in danger of our health.

As long as the Masjids are strict on social distancing measures and mask mandates, there should be no problem. It's best if they take it seriously, similarly, with the first Mosque I listed along with having your temperature checked. Prophet Muhammad (saws) encouraged Muslims to go to the Masjid, so as long as they are opened and are following health and safety guidelines, Insha'Allah there is nothing to be worried about.

HOWEVER, if a Masjid fails and ignores these protocols to keep people safe, it's best to talk to the owner/management and address your concerns and/or go to a different Mosque.

If grocery stores, restaurants, movie theatres, churches, etc. are all open, why can't Masjids? The government/president or whoever believes that these places can open back up again for a reason. If they didn't find it safe enough, they would hold back and quarantine people longer.

If you have a weak immune system, it's up to you. Do you feel comfortable with the way your local Mosque is handling the COVID-19 guidelines? If so, do your best to visit the house of Allah and pray. If not, speak up about it because we as Muslims must also do our part to prevent the spread of this disease, even if we've made it accustomed to our lives.

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