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Virtual Jumu`ah and Tarawih: Response to Objections

So what happened to produce this 180 degree change?

The answer: What was initially construed to be something that was invalid due to “it changing the format of Jumu‘ah”, was later realized to be something that does not alter the format of the prayer at all. It was, in fact, simply a device to communicate and transmit the voice of the mu’adhin, the khaṭib and/or imam to the congregants.

After all, is it not better to help worshippers hear what is being said?

More “Innovations”

Those who attempt to argue against using virtual platforms for Jumu`ah during this unique time of the COVID-19 pandemic are similar in their thinking about it and should consider the following: 

Hasn’t the community introduced various innovations in devices starting immediately after the Prophet’s death?

First came ma’adhin or minarets; there was no minaret at the time of the Prophet, then came the mihrab. After that, the microphone. Many of these were deemed objectionable in the beginning but later on became accepted as good practice upon the realization that they were not in any way changing the format of the `ibadah.

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Similarly, not too long ago following an imam through a TV or monitor was dismissed as unacceptable. And yet, it has now become widely accepted.

Even the most conservative of mosques today have space for women to pray following along through monitors. Similarly, the overflows at many mosques during Jumu`ah and Tarawih follow along through monitors in their cafeterias and gyms. In all such cases, the condition of continuity of lines, otherwise considered as a pre-requisite, has been relaxed or waived.

If virtual Jumu`ah is invalid for the reason it employs elements that were not employed by the Prophet, should not regular in-mosque Jumu‘ahs resorting to monitors also be deemed equally invalid?

The simple fact is, that although the ulama of one time may have deemed these prayers as invalid, the fatwa on this has changed toward one accepting monitors as a device that helps congregants to follow the imam.

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