MajlisTT has been asked to comment on the variance of the positions of the Ulamaa locally regarding the matter of performance of Eid Salah under lockdown conditions during the Novel Coronavirus restrictions imposed. Specifically, it has been observed that the guidance offered ranges from (1) praying Eid Salah in small groups at the masajid, and Nafl at home, to (2) pray Eid Salah at home, to (3) perform the Eid salaah at home without the khutbah, to (4) stay at home – you cannot perform Eid salaah so read to nafl salaah. Along with this is the request to give the position of MajlisTT on Eid Salaah, as was done with the Jumu’ah Salaah (MajlisTT Paper 15: Covid-19 and the Muslim Community of Trinidad and Tobago).
The Public Health Ordinance is still in effect, that limits private and religious gatherings to a maximum of 5 persons (Public Health Ordinance Ch12, No.4, Section 5(1) (e)). Although the First Phase documentation released by the Government suggests maintaining the closure of all religious institutions, the understanding is that the Public Health Ordinance is the guiding document of the present limitations, and based on this, persons can assemble at religious centers in a group no greater than 5 persons.
We have had in the public domain, a range of positions offered by the scholars either of various institutions or maintaining an independent stand, as outlined in the following:
On this basis if a community wants to perform Eid Salah in the mosque with a maximum of 5 persons (that includes the Imam), then no restrictions prevent them from doing so. It is advisable that any such gathering should meet 2 conditions:
1.1 full compliance with the measures required by the authorities for mitigating risk of spreading the infection, clearly communicated to all persons included, and
1.2 a sound logic for the identification of the 4 persons, clearly communicated in advance to the community, so that no one else from the Jamaat is left feeling discriminated against or marginalized.
Relative to these and in conjunction of both, the Jamaats that are considering multiple shifts of Eid prayers should take every precaution to ensure the facilities are sanitized between use, and that and persons leading the Eid Salah should be capable of leading the prayer and reading the kuthba in Arabic.
Given the implications of 1.1 and 1.2, it is the opinion of some of the scholars of MajlisTT that mosques should have the Eid Salah to maintain the requirement placed on the community. Others are of the position that, in light of the impracticalities of (1.1, 1.2), the mosques should be closed and people encouraged to pray at home, consistent with the previous MajlisTT position (Covid Paper Section 2.3 Public Gatherings) regarding Jumu’ah Salaah. It should be noted that some are of the opinion that conditions 1.1 and 1.2 must be met completely to avoid potential issues that can affect the community.
For those who will be praying at home, they are encouraged to pray Nafl Salah. It is unadvisable to have Eid Salah at home, because the Eid Salah should be performed where Jumu’ah salah is conducted, and at home the conditions for Jumu’ah are not met. It is also noted that persons should not seek to run around trying to find a place to perform Eid salah, especially where this is begin done in defiance of regulations. We must be careful to preserve our dignity and honour as Muslims.
In this matter, facing these unusual circumstances, there is currently no unanimous position, and individuals and communities are free to follow the advice of the scholars at their discretion. It is certainly a case where you would not be contravening any Islamic requirements should you do either option.
MajlisTT wishes to remind everyone that the restrictions we are facing from the national authorities are in response to a pandemic, and measures adopted are to safeguard us as a society against the harmful effects of the Novel Coronavirus. These restrictions do not at this time cause us to do anything to earn the displeasure of Almighty Allah, and therefore we must continue to exercise patience and forbearance until such time as restrictions are eased and we can return to some semblance of normalcy.
On the occasion of Eid, on should remember to engage in Tasbeeh and Azkaar often on the days of Eid, .
May Almighty Allah reward us for our patience and our intentions, and accept our fasting in the month of Ramadan.
Eid Mubarak from MajlisTT to you and yours.
Appendix 1: Fatawa on Eid Salah
Dr Musa Mohamed
Observing the Eid salah at home
In the face of the current quarantine restrictions, persons should pray Eid Salah in their homes with their families, with no kuthba.
The two rakah salah is prayed at home as follows:
- The start time is minutes after sunrise (DUHA time) and ends at dhuhr start time
- It is prayed with no athaan and no iqaamah
- The recitation within the prayer is recited loud
- The Fatiha is read in the first rakah and Surah Al ‘Ala (if not memorised, then whatever he is able to recite)
- The Fatiha is read in the second rakah and Surah Al Ghaashiya (if not memorised, then whatever he is able to recite)
- Seven Takbeers are made in the first Rakah before the recitation of Al Fatiha including the Takbeerutul Ihraam
- Five Takbeers are made in the second Rakah before Al fatiha not including the takbeer of standing back up from sujood
- The hands are raised with each takbeer
- Nothing is said between the Takbeers.
- To be led by an appointed imam within the family (father or learned child)
- No khutba is done after the salah due to it being prayed in the house.
As extracted from the Arabic text above in the book Fatihu libarih.