We wanted to discuss a bit the Eid prayer at various masajid in Japan in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is something serious and people need to understand the issue from a Shariah perspective. We will try not to give any personal opinion on this as it is a religious issue and we do not claim to be knowledgeable enough to have a definitive say on this.
All praise is due to Allah who blessed us to witness the month of Ramadan once again in our life despite the state of emergency in Tokyo and the surrounding areas. Most of the masjid in Japan has been closed during Ramadan and now we are approaching the Eid on Sunday, May 24. As many of you may be aware, the COVID-19 situation is getting better in Japan and the ‘state of emergency’ has been lifted in 39 prefectures among 47 prefectures in Japan. With this regards, Masajid and Muslim organizations representatives gathered via ‘zoom online’ to discuss possible re-opening of the Masajid. They discussed various issues such as Japanese authorities’ requests to remain vigilant, avoid large gatherings, ‘fatawa’ regarding ‘Eid Prayer’ at home etc, The meeting summary is as follows.
We pray Allah to grant easy recovery, unfortunately 40–,50 muslims are also affected by COVID-19 in Japan. The ‘scientist’ and ‘medical doctor’ participants are of the view that the current situation is still risky, and the virus pandemic could have a second wave any time. No medicine for COVID-19 is discovered and no vaccine is reported to be effective as of now. Hence, taking full precautionary measures could be the only way to contain the disease.
Islamic sharia experts expressed their view that ‘Eid prayer’ can be performed at their home.
Although ‘state of emergency’ has been lifted in most of the prefectures in Japan, strict precautionary and prevention measures should be ensured even in those prefectures. According to the government officials, it is still better to avoid large gatherings including in Masajid as the ‘second-wave’ of virus infection is most likely to happen. So, we cannot treat the situation as ‘normal’ in order to carry out any regular activities.
Tokyo, Hyogo, Osaka, Saitama, Kyoto, Chiba, Kanagawa and, Hokkaido are still under ‘state of emergency’ and we should follow the government’s request to stay home and ‘masajid’ should remain closed until further announcement from the authorities.
According to the above observations, we hope the masajid in Japan will follow the requests listed below.
Masajid where ‘state of emergency’ has been lifted; After confirming the local situation with the ‘ward office or city office’ , masjid may re-open, but please ensure necessary precautions such as wearing a face mask, using personal prayer mat, making ablution at home, using sanitizer while entering the masjid, keeping social distancing at masjid, avoiding a large number of people at a time etc,. if anyone thinks these precautions are difficult to follow, we strongly request not to open the masjid. Also, Eid -prayers may conduct at open places if available.
Masajid where ‘state of emergency’ is active; Please follow government instructions and masjid should not be opened for Eid prayers. According to ‘fatawa’ from Islamic scholars in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Syria, Eid prayer can be performed at home. All other sunnah of Eid is still valid such as using the best clothes, taking bath, renewing family relation etc,We hope you all are safe and ask Allah (swt) to protect all of us from the deadly diseases especially the recent coronavirus pandemic.