Questions about the corona virus
27 Rajab 1441

In The Name of Allah The Beneficent The Merciful
To the office of the Grand Religious Authority his Eminence Al-Sayed Al-Sistani (may Allah prolong his life),
Assalamu 'alykum wa rahmat'llahi wa barakatuh
The corona virus is spreading rapidly in many countries around the world and the number of cases of infection is increasing daily. We have come to understand the position of the Grand Marja'eyah regarding "The obligation of following the directions of the experts to control the spread of the this dangerous pandemic and that includes prohibiting holding gatherings and attending them for any reason." We have several questions for our grand marje' to answer:

1. Is it obligatory to refrain from touching those who may contract the virus by shaking hands, hugging, kissing, or the like and is it permissible to be around them without taking the necessary precautions such as wearing medical masks and so forth?

2. In regards to those inflicted with this illness and those with probable symptoms, is it permissible for them to be around others who do not know their state of health? If they were to mingle with others and became the reason for others contracting the virus then what is their responsibility towards those whom they infected?

3. Those who arrive in the country after having been in a country in which the virus had spread widely, or if he had been around those who were infected, is it obligatory for him to quarantine himself in his home or must that person get tested to know whether he was infected or not?

4. Is it permissible to use religious dues from Zakat and Khums to provide equipment that is necessary to protect from infection by those who have contracted the virus, such as gloves, medical face masks, cleaning supplies, sterilizers, as well as medications and other supplies that are needed to combat this sickness?

5. What advice do you have for the believers in light of these difficult conditions that they are facing from this dangerous pandemic?

From: A group of believers.



In The Name of Allah The Beneficent The Merciful

1. Those who fear infection from touching or mingling with others because they may be harmed greatly, even if its not death, must avoid doing so. Unless they are able to take the necessary precautions, such as sterilization, using medical face masks and gloves to the point that they are content that they will not contract the illness. However, if one does not adhere to the preceding instructions and as a result contracts the illness then they will not be excused from a religious standpoint.

2. It is not permissible for such a person to be around others such that there is a probability that the person is contagious and will infect them. If he was to do so, causing those who do not know of his state of health to be infected then he will be held religiously liable for any harm that he caused that person, and if that they were to die from the illness then it is obligatory upon him to pay the diyah (religious fine).

3. Yes, it is mandatory for him to do so, taking into account the directions of the respective authorities.

4. It is acceptable to spend from the portion of Sabeel'llah from the Zakat and from the Sahm (portion) of the Imam (a) in the case of the Khums while taking into account the religious criteria.

5. We advise the gracious believers (may Allah increase their status) to:

a. Turn to Allah Almighty and ask Him to push away this tribulation, increase doing righteous deeds such as giving charity to the poor, helping the weak, reciting the Holy Qur'an, and the supplications of the Prophet (s) and his immaculate Holy Household (a).

b. Take precautions that are proportionate to the size of this pandemic without panic and distress. Take all of the necessary preventative precautions and treatment based on what is determined by the medical experts while staying away from unscientific methods.

c. Work hard to educate others of the dangers of belittling the dangers of this virus and encourage them to adhere to and not ignore the directions of the authorities on this matter.

d. Help the families that have been harmed as a result of the the current situation because their livelihoods have been effected by the stoppage of work and the restrictions on people's movement.

f. Take care of those infected no matter their affiliations in religion or sect, with the goal of easing their burden and supporting them in their needs.

May Allah protect you all from all harm and tribulation and assalamu 'alykum wa rahmatu'llahi wa barakatuh.

The Office of Al-Sayed Al-Sistani
The Holy City of Najaf
Rajab 27, 1441 A.H.