Prayer can be offered at home in case of a deadly epidemic: Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri
While delivering a special talk on the subject of congregational Friday prayer, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has said when human life is exposed to dangers as a result of the deadly epidemics and natural catastrophes, the steps such as ending one's interaction, social distancing and confining oneself to one's home are in line with the teachings of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). He said there is a manifest commandment of offering prayers at home in such a situation. He said the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) once ordained the believers to offer their prayers at home in an event of severe rainfall and the words of Azan calling people to come for prayers were replaced by those urging them to offer Salah at homes and wherever they were.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said the teachings of the faith that do not allow Muslims to run the risk of falling in the mud and muddying themselves due to rainwater, how can they not provide explicit guidance for the protection of the human life in the wake of a deadly epidemic? He said the Hadith says that people should observe social distancing from six to eight feet in case of an epidemic. He referred to another Hadith that was about Plague in which the believers were ordained to confine themselves to places where they were, ending their interaction with the healthy people and not doing any travels. They were asked to bear the affliction with patience and an unwavering belief in Allah, stating that therein lies health and great reward.
Dr Qadri said the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also said if someone dies during an epidemic, he would have the status of a martyr. He said there is another moderate path with reference to the offering the Friday prayer. He said Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) decreed that the Friday prayer would be considered to have been offered when there are three Namazis in addition to the Imam (prayer leader). He said if two people in addition to Moazzan and Imam are allowed to go to the Mosque for prayer, the religious obligation of Friday prayer will be fulfilled, stating there is no need to give Azan via loudspeaker in such a situation.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri further said Islam furnished guidance to humanity 1400 years ago in every walk of life. He said exploring wisdom contained in the Islamic teachings is our job. He said the medical precautions and guidelines that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave 14 centuries ago, modern medical science is reaffirming their importance, efficacy and their need today.