ILS Guidelines – Lockdown Relaxation for Religious Gatherings
The President of South Africa recently advised that the lockdown protocols in Level 3 would permit religious houses of worship to re-open to the public, albeit under strict conditions.
Masājid are now allowed to re-open as long as they are in compliance with government regulations and must not exceed 50 people in congregation. Some of the requisite rules which the Masājid administrators must adhere to are;
Sanitization of the prayer area (regularly)
Temperature screening before entering the Musjid
Social distancing within the designated prayer area
Limited entry for 50 people as per government regulation
In addition to the procedures of screening for the virus, those Masājid which are in a position to open should take heed of the following rules from a Shar’ī perspective:
1. The elderly and minor children should be asked to perform their salāh at home.
2. Only Fardh Salāh and Khutbah should be performed in the Musjid. Sunnah and Nafl are to be performed at home.
3. Social distancing within the saff is allowed (under the circumstances).
4. Wearing of a mask during salāh is allowed (under the circumstances).
5. Shaking hands should be avoided.
6. The Finā-e-Musjid (Wudhū Khāna, toilets) should be closed.
7. The maximum number (50) of congregants should be strictly adhered to all times.
Furthermore, it must be noted that after responsible consultation, many Masājid have opted to remain closed to the general public. Their reasoning is understandable from both Shar’ī and practical points of view. Hence Muslims should respect the views of others and not engage in argumentation over these matters.
We supplicate to Allāh ﷻ to protect us during these trialling times and to grant shifā to all those who are ill.