Closing the Masaajid – Preservation of Life Argument

Q. Is it permissible to close the Masaajid when a plague breaks out? Some people are arguing that Musallis should not attend the Masaajid for the protection of people’s lives. They say that ‘preservation of life’ is amongst the objectives of the Shariah. Is their line of argumentation correct?

A. No! Their line of argumentation is heavily flawed. Firstly, before hallucinating about the ‘objectives of the Shariah’, let the Munaafiqeen, Zindeeqs and Juhala explain the meaning of the Shariah. The Shariah is the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, and the primary Maqsad (Objective) of the Shariah is not what these Munaafiqeen and Zindeeqs believe. The Primary Objective of the Shariah is mentioned with clarity in the Qur’aan Majeed: “I have not created jinn and man except that they worship Me.”

The best place to attain this primary objective for men is the Masjid and for women is the darkest corner of her home. Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “Woman is Aurah (i.e. an object of concealment). When she emerges (from her home) shaitaan casts surreptitious glances at her (to ambush her and manipulate her for fitnah). And undoubtedly the closest she is to Allah Ta`ala is when she is at the innermost corner of her house.

Secondly, preventing any Musalli from the Masjid is severely condemned in the Shariah. How can such an act of Zulm be perpetrated for fulfilling the inverted ‘preservation of life’ theory of the Zindeeqs? ‘Preservation of life’ in terms of the Shariah is vastly different from the theories of the Zindeeqs, Munaafiqeen and Mudhilleen. According to the Munaafiqeen, an act of Zulm is regarded as an act of virtue. In fact, this is amongst the worst acts of Zulm according to the Qur’aan. 

Thirdly, ‘preservation of life’ as an objective of the Shariah is not a licence for the unbridled adoption of just any method for securing the objective. Closing the Masaajid will not secure the objective of securing lives. No one will escape Maut (death). In addition, a Mu’min who passes away due to Covid-19 is a Shaheed, provided he/she bears it patiently and has hope in the Mercy of Allah Ta`ala.

Fourthly, how are they ‘preserving lives’ by prohibiting Musallis from the Masaajid? There is no guarantee that a Musalli will even get the virus if he goes to the Masjid. Plagues took place even in the time of the Sahaabah. But, no Masjid was closed!

Fifthly, Salaat with Jamaat at the Masjid is Waajib. Fear of contracting sickness or plagues is not a valid reason to abstain from Salaat at the Masjid or for the Kufr act of closing the Masjid.  Thus, in terms of the Law of Allah, the shutting down of the Masaajid is amongst the greatest forms of oppression.