Q. In South Africa, gatherings of a 100 people or more are prohibited as of 15 March 2020 until further notice. How should Jumuah be performed in this situation?
A. In light of the Covid-19 epidemic in South Africa, Jumuah should be performed in groups not exceeding 100 people. Jumuah may be performed in classrooms, schools, offices & businesses, in parking lots, garages as well as at homes to avoid 100 people gathering at one place at the same time. Communities should arrange to fulfil this regulation as per their individual circumstances.
Q. Is it necessary that the five times Salaah takes place at a venue for Jumuah to take place there?
A. It is not necessary for five times Salaah to take place at a venue for Jumuah to be valid. However, the minimum requirement for Jumuah to be valid at a venue is that three followers (sane, mature males) besides the Imam i.e. a total of 4 people, must be present for the Jumuah Khutbah and Jumuah Salaah. (Fataawa Mahmoodiyyah 12/323)
Q. Can multiple Jumuah’s be performed at one Masjid, keeping each congregation to a 100?
A. In normal circumstances, it is prohibitively disliked to perform a second congregation or multiple congregations of Salaah and Jumuahs in one Masjid as it diminishes the importance of the official congregation. However, in the present circumstances, it would be permissible to perform a second and multiple congregations of Salaah and Jumuah in the same Masjid. It may be performed multiple times in other venues as well. (Shaami 1/395 – Najmul Fataawa 2/533/534/535)
Q. If only the people of a school, office, business or home etc. perform Jumuah at their place of work or business whilst restricting access to outsiders due to security concerns etc., will the Jumuah be valid there?
A. The condition of general permission required for Jumuah to be valid will be fulfilled if there is access to the Jumuah venue by all of those who are part of the institute/business. As long as those people who are part of the school, office or business etc. are not restricted from performing Jumuah there, the performance of Jumuah at such a venue will be valid. (Fataawa Mahmoodiyyah 12/316-317-318)
Q. How many Azaan’s have to be given if multiple Jumuahs are being performed at or around the Masjid?
A. The first Azaan should be given for the first congregation of Jumuah only. The first Azaan does not have to be repeated for the second or subsequent congregations of Jumuah. The Azaan (given before the Khutbah) and the Iqaamah will be repeated for every Jumuah performed. (Fataawa Mahmoodiyyah 12/192-193)
Q. Does the Imaam for the Jumuah Khutbah and Salaah have to be a Haafiz or Aalim in this situation?
A. Though it is preferred, it is not a requirement that the Imaam be a Haafiz or Aalim to perform the Jumuah Khutbah and Salaah. As long as the Imaam is able to recite the Khutbah and perform the Salaah correctly, the Jumuah Salaah will be in order. It is also not necessary to use a Mimbar (pulpit) or Asaa (stick) during the Jumah Khutbah.
Note: Each Jumuah performance must have a new Imaam. One Imaam cannot perform the Jumuah twice.
Q. How should the Jumuah be performed in the current circumstance?
A. The Muazzin will call out the first Azaan for Jumuah. After the performance of the Sunnah Salaah, the Imaam will sit on the Mimbar (pulpit), or chair if a Mimbar is not available, for the second Azaan. The Imaam will then stand and read the first Khutbah, sit down and then stand again to read the second Khutbah.
After the Khutbah is concluded, the Muazzin will call out the Iqaamah and the Imaam will perform the Jumuah Salaah. Once the Jumuah Salaah is concluded, the congregation should make way for the next congregation. The Sunnah and Nafl Salaah may be performed briefly or at any other suitable venue.
For the new congregation, the Imaam will sit on the Mimbar/chair for the Khutbah and the Muazzin will call out the “second” Azaan. The procedure will then be repeated as per above.
In the current circumstances, the pre-khutbah lecture (generally given in English) should be suspended.
Note: It is expected of those who are performing Jumuah in places where Wudhu and toilet facilities are not easily available to ensure that they make their own arrangements before coming for Jumuah so as not to inconvenience the hosts. For those facilitating Jumuah at private venues, toilet facilities should be made available for exceptional cases and buckets and jugs of water be provided for Wudhu.
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa