Coronavirus and Your Religious Obligations According to Ayatullah Sayyid al-Sistani

During this global coronavirus outbreak, the Office of the Supreme Religious Authority, Grand Ayatullah al-Sayyid al-Sistani (May God prolong his life), has been receiving many questions about the current pandemic and its repercussions. These questions include how a person should deal with those who are infected, [the limits] of visitation and interaction among people, performing the ritual wash on a person who has died due to COVID-19, and many others. Below are some of these questions along with their answers, which will be updated regularly.

His eminence al-Sayyid al-Sistani mentioned the following recommendations in his statement concerning this pandemic:

“Treating patients, caring for them, and managing their affairs [while they are unable to do so] is incumbent upon all those qualified to perform these tasks like physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. This is based on al-wujub al-kifa’i or the obligation to do so upon those who are qualified until the aforementioned tasks are adequately executed by some (i.e. the obligation is lifted from others thereafter). There is no doubt that the effort these honorable individuals are exerting – in spite of all the challenges – is great and invaluable, and perhaps it is as important as the strife of those who fight in defense of their country and people. Certainly, God Almighty appreciates their efforts in this world and will reward them for it in the Hereafter. Rather, it is hoped that those who sacrifice their lives for this cause will be honored [by God] with the reward and status of a martyr on the day of judgement. Hence, we offer them abundant thanks and utmost appreciation for their great humanitarian work. We pray to God Almighty to guard and protect them and keep away all evil from them.