In the spirit of unity and collaboration, leaders from the London Muslim Mosque, Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario, Muslim Association of Canada London Chapter, Muslim Youth Association of London, Bosnian Canadian Islamic Centre London, North London Islamic Center, Hyatt Mosque and AlTaqwa Academy formed a City-wide COVID-19 Muslim Organization Task Force. The mandate of this Task Force was to establish evidence based guidance and coordination of a unified response among all Muslim organizations in light of the evolving situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the Task Force met and discussed the ruling on virtual Jumu’ah/Friday prayer and virtual prayers in general, behind a remote Imam through live streaming. The Task Force advises as follows.
The purpose of a legislated Jumu’ah/Friday prayer as a group prayer is based upon the idea of physical attendance and being physically together with the congregation. This is confirmed in the Qur'an & Sunnah and is the consensus of scholars. For those reasons, it is therefore not acceptable to pray Jumu’ah/Friday distantly, in a virtual manner, behind a remote Imam by live streaming as this defeats the purpose of physical attendance and solidarity. This is the overwhelming majority position of the Task Force and is the consensus of national and international scholarly bodies like the Canadian Council of Imams (CCI) and Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA). The Task Force recognizes that a small minority of scholarly opinion holds a differing view and feel that virtual prayers are permissible in these unprecedented times. This minority opinion goes against the scholarly consensus. The Task Force's decision is in line with CCI and AMJA that virtual prayers behind a remote imam by live-streaming are invalid and not acceptable. For more detail on this matter please refer to AMJA's fatwa (https://www.amjaonline.org/remote-jumah-prayer/) and that of CCI (https://canadiancouncilofimams.com/2020/03/13/cci-announcements-regarding-covid-19/).
May Allah guide us through this test and give us and our families strength.
Jazākoum Allāhu Khayran,
The London Muslims Covid-19 Task Force