Ruling on Praying Jumu’ah Prayer Through Broadcasting
All praise is due to Allah (ﷻ) and may His peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (ﷺ).
To proceed, we have received many questions regarding the broadcasting of the Jumu’ah (Friday) prayers while the members of the community are in their homes listening to the sermon and then following the Imam in the prayer.
Hence, here is the answer to the above enquiry:
It is not permissible according to any valid Madhhabs (schools of Fiqh) for the gap between the rows of the prayer to be miles long, with tens of buildings and roads as dividers between them. While the scholars agree on overlooking a customarily small gap, they disagree concerning the effect of a wall, road, river, and the likes of which would cause separation.
The valid Madhhabs do agree that very long distances (as people staying home) cannot be overlooked for this would nullify the Friday prayer. This has always been the practice of the Muslims before us; it is the Fatwaa given by the four followed Madhhabs, and is an opinion closer to the practical consensus of the Muslims.
Furthermore, to have individuals or groups praying in homes while following the Imam VIA live-broadcast is a matter in contradiction with the objective of the Legislator, Allah (ﷻ), which is to have people gather in one place during Friday services and congregational prayers.
In addition to this, it is possible that the livestream cuts out or lags in such a way that the people see the Imam bowing or prostrating later than he actually did.
Another problem of allowing people to follow through broadcasting is that it may lead people in continuing to pray the Friday prayer at home even after this current pandemic (coronavirus) passes, which would lead to the loss of reverence for Jumu’ah, and therefore the above-mentioned objective of the Legislator to have the Muslims gather in once place would not be achieved.
That being said, there is no problem with the Imam in giving the sermon inside the mosque for a small number of people in accordance with what health authorities allow, even if there are only three other congregants, as well as broadcasting this VIA the Internet (etc.) to other community members for the benefit. However, when it is time to pray, those in their homes would pray the Dhuhr prayer with four Raka’as respectively.
May Allah (ﷻ) guide us to beneficial knowledge and righteous actions. Peace and blessings be upon Muhammad (ﷺ) as well as to his family, his companions, and to those who follow him until the Last Day.
Drs. Zijad Delić and Mohsen El-Nadi, Imams of South Nepean Muslim Community (SNMC)