Is Concern of Contracting the Coronavirus or Transmitting it a Valid Reason to not Attend Jamā‘ah or Jumu‘ah?

Some people are asking if it is permissible for men to not attend the masjid for Jamā‘ah or Jumu‘ah on account of fear of being infected by the coronavirus or transmitting it to someone else.

“Sickness” is a valid excuse to not attend Jamā‘ah/Jumu‘ah. Sickness in this context refers only to such sicknesses that make it intensely difficult to attend the masjid. Hence, ‘Allāmah Ẓafar Aḥmad al-‘Uthmānī explains the sickness that excuses one from attending Jamā‘ah as follows:

والمراد بالمرض ما يتعذر به الحضور إلى الجماعة

“What is meant by sickness is that which makes it intensely difficult to attend the Jamā‘ah.” (I‘lā’ Sunan, Idārat al-Qur’ān, 4:204)

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