The world is going through an unprecedented multi-dimensional crisis caused by the rapid spread of the virulent COVID-19. Religious authorities and scholars all over the Muslim world are engaged, like other actors in society, in countering the spread of the disease and in supporting health authorities by disseminating their recommendations to the population and conferring on these recommendations a religious obligation. This attitude transcends the sectarian or ideological divides in Muslim societies. The International Union of Muslim Scholars, Alazhar in Cairo, Sistani’s office in Najaf, and many learned societies, scholarly groups and independent Muslim scholars have issued in the past couple of weeks numerous converging fatwas and calls to Muslims on how to behave during the COVID-19 crisis. Various modes of dissemination are used: conventional media, official websites, social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and e-messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram.
by Abbas Aroua