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WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT AND LEGAL OPINION

Restriction Movement Order Due to Covid-19 From The Perspective of


Maslahah Mursalah and Sadd al-Dhara’i

USUL FIQH II
SHA 3828
SECTION 1

PREPARED FOR ASSISTANT PROFESSOR DR UZAIMAH BINTI IBRAHIM

PREPARED BY 1) FATIN NUR ALIAH BINTI MOHD SHAHZIHAN (1722658)


2) NUR FATIN AININA BINTI NOR AZMAN (1722288)
3) NURFAIRUZ BINTI NORDIN (1727034)

TABLE OF CONTENT

1
No Title Page

1 History Background of Covid-19 3

2 Restriction Movement Order (RMO) 4-5

3 Rationale behind Restriction Movement Order (RMO) 5

4 Application of Concept Maslahah Mursalah to Covid-19 situation 6-9

5 Application of Concept Sadd al- Dhara’i to Covid-19 situation 9-12

6 Legal Opinion 12-13

7 Conclusion 14

8 References 15-17

2
History Background of Covid-19

Coronavirus disease or known as COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly


discovered coronavirus.1 Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to
moderate respiratory illness. Coronaviruses are common and spread through being in proximity
to an infected person and inhaling droplets generated when they cough or sneeze, or touching a
surface where these droplets land and then touching one's face or nose. Hence, it is important for
people to take care of their hygiene by washing hands or using an alcohol based rub (sanitiser)
frequently and not touching their face. Older people, and those with underlying medical
problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are
more likely to develop serious illness.

This newly discovered coronavirus came from a city named Wuhan which is the capital
city of Hubei province of China. On January 11, China announced its first death from the
virus.2Later it spread to Thailand and Japan who had confirmed a positive case when its patient
had a travel record from Wuhan. Authorities in the United States, Nepal, France, Australia,
Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan confirmed cases over the following
days. Due to the increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients' death tolls in China and other
countries, China has announced a total lockdown of its country where it prevents the locals and
foreigners from going out or entering the country.3

Restriction Movement Order (RMO)

1 World Health Organization, Coronavirus, https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1


(accessed April 11, 2020)
2 World Health Organization, WHO Statement regarding cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China,
https://www.who.int/china/news/detail/09-01-2020-who-statement-regarding-cluster-of-pneumonia-cases-
in-wuhan-china (accessed April 11, 2020)
3 Aljazeera, Timeline: How the new coronavirus spread
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/timeline-china-coronavirus-spread-200126061554884.html
(accessed April 11, 2020)

3
In Malaysia, the increasing number of cases is believed to be due to the gathering of
tabligh clusters held at the Sri Petaling Mosque. The Chief Director of the Ministry of Health had
announced that 62% of positive corona cases are from tabligh clusters. 4 Subsequently Malaysia
also issued an order called Restriction Movement Control Order (RMO) to prevent its people
from going out or entering the country. Any mass gathering or public activities are prohibited.
There has also stipulated an order to closure of premise, education sector and issue travel ban.
Majlis Fatwa from several states such as Perlis and Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur had
issued a fatwa to suspend the locals from performing a Friday prayer until the virus disappeared. 5
However this is just a partial lockdown where certain people are still allowed to go out for
certain purposes only. In regards to this RMO, the government understood it had caused
difficulty to the people as to get the supply of foods and therefore the government has allowed
only the head of the family to go to shop and buy groceries.

During this RMO, a few events happened which resulted in a greater number of cases
caused. Firstly, is when the Inspector General Police (IGP) made a statement that all interstate
travel will require permission from police during the movement control order. 6 The public were
required to notify their respective police station chiefs and submit an application to travel to
other states to verify their business. He further said that exemption letters would be issued to
those who need to travel for important matters or emergencies. Such drastic announcement was
made to observe whether the public adheres to the order before taking the next step.

Unfortunately, it has caused public fear as the long queues were formed at various district
police to apply for interstate travel permits. 7 Most of the people involved are university or

4 Clarissa, Chung. “Covid-19: 62% of cases linked to Sri Petaling mosque event, says Health DG.” The
Star, March 23, 2020, https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/03/23/covid-19-62-of-cases-linked-
to-sri-petaling-mosque-event-says-health-dg
5 Pejabat Mufti Wilayah Persekutuan, Bayan Linnas Siri Ke-225 : Covid-19: Fatwa-Fatwa Terkini
Berkaitan Penangguhan Solat Jumaat Dan Solat Berjemaah, https://www.muftiwp.gov.my/artikel/bayan-
linnas/4338-bayan-linnas-siri-ke-225-covid-19-fatwa-fatwa-terkini-berkaitan-penangguhan-solat-jumaat-
dan-solat-berjemaah (accessed April 11, 2020)
6 Austin, Camoens. “IGP: Interstate travel requires police permission during movement control order.”
The Star, March 17, 2020, https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/03/17/igp-interstate-travel-
requires-police-permission-during-movement-control-order
7 New Straits Times, “Long lines at police stations as Msians apply for interstate travel permits during
RMO.” March 17, 2020, https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/03/575545/long-lines-police-stations-
msians-apply-interstate-travel-permits-during

4
college students where they are desperate to return home after the announcement from the
Minister of Higher Education to suspend the learning institutions from any classes and works.
Following that, the locals gathered at the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) where it is believed
that the crowd has formed a greater risk of being exposed to the virus infection. Police then had
cancelled the application of permits as it had caused more people to gather at a public place. The
government has taken this matter seriously and has laid out several guidelines for the people to
move from one place to other places. Since that, there are many cases recorded and as of now,
the total number of cases has reached 8453 with 7346 discharged cases and 121 deaths.

Rationale Behind RMO

The rationale behind the issuance of movement restriction order is to break the chain and
flatten the curve of infection of the coronavirus to the public at large. As such, people would be
prevented from gathering and thus less exposed to the risk of infection. Besides, it is also
beneficial to ensure that the people stay safe at their respectives homes while spending their time
with families.

5
Application of Concept Maslahah Mursalah in the Outbreak of Covid-19

Recently, the world has witnessed the Coronavirus or Covid-19 virus attack on one
person to another. There are many arising issues to be solved and determined, nevertheless, with
the increase of this infectious disease to the human, the world is at stake. Due to that, outdoor
activities such as congregational Friday Prayers, public gatherings, or mass gatherings that
include social activities are banned until the outbreak stops. Therefore, in our written submission
we will discuss the concept of Maslahah Mursalah and Sadd Al-Dhara’i’ in application to the
outbreak of Covid-19 in Malaysia.

The definition of Maslahah mursalah according to Al-Ghazali consists of consideration


which secures a benefit and prevents harm but is in the meantime harmonious with the objectives
of shariah.8 In the Covid-19 case, the type of maslahah is al maslahah al-’ammah. Maslahah
al-’ammah means the type of maslahah that is for the public interest, which is the benefit that is
useful to all or the majority of the community. In our current case, the avoidance of performing
congregational prayers due to Covid-19 is a type of maslahah al-’ammah.

In applying the Maslahah al-’ammah to the current case, firstly we have to identify the
objective of Shariah or Maqasid Shariah. The objective of the maslahah is to protect Daruriyyat
or the essentials. The essentials include protecting life or hifz an-nafs. In Islam, all life is sacred
and Allah forbade to take away the lives of others or to oneself. Therefore, it is important to
protect our life.

There is a hadith reported by Aisha which may be the authority of maslahah ruling where
she asked the Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, about plagues and he said,
“It is a punishment that Allah sends upon whoever he wills, but Allah has made it mercy for the
believers. Any servant who resides in a land afflicted by plague, remaining patient and hoping
for a reward from Allah, knowing that nothing will befall him but what Allah has decreed, he

8 Islamic Law: An Introduction, Laldin, Mohammad Akram. (2006) (Kuala Lumpur : International)
Islamic University of Malaysia)

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will be given the reward of a martyr.”9 In this hadith, it has mentioned that the believers who
reside in an infected area,will be rewarded by Allah and that they will die in martyr.

In addition, the Prophet SAW said, “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do
not enter it; but if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.”10
Also, in the story of the Companions, that Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al-‘As went out with a group of
people that are infected with the plague in the city of Amawas at the mountains, until Allah SWT
lift the disease from them, what was done by Sayyidina ‘Amr al-‘As reached the caliph of that
time; Sayyidina Umar al-Khattab RA, and he did not refute it. This is to show that during the
time of the Khulafa Ar Rasyidin, the quarantine methods to avoid a plague outbreak are being
practiced, that is to show how modern is Islamic teaching was during that time until now.

In applying this hadith in the light of maslahah mursalah, the people who are far from the
affected land cannot enter to the other land or vice versa to avoid harmful effects to the other
citizen. In applying this hadith in Malaysian context, the Malaysian government comes with the
“Restriction Movement Order” or RMO that are empowered by Prevention and Control of
Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and Police Act 1967. In this order it is mandatory for the citizens
to quarantine themselves in their house and their movement is restricted to public places. If the
citizen breaches the order, they must pay the responsibility to be jailed and pay the compound to
the authorities. Moreover, if citizens are coming from a foreign country, they must be
quarantined in the hotel selected by the government. Hence, the hadith that prohibits a person to
go or leave one place to another during a plague outbreak are applied in the malaysian quarantine
order.

The type of Maslahah according to the degree of priority on the Restriction of Movement
Order due to Covid-19 is a Maslahah al-dharuriyyah or the Essentials. This type of Maslahah is
concerned with the life of a human being. In Islam, life is sacred, human being must valued life
more than anything else in the world. In the Maqasid Shariah, the protection of life (hifz al-nafs).

9 Sahih al-Bukhari 5402, http://www.iium.edu.my/deed/lawbase/fiqh_us_sunnah/vol4/fsn_vol4a.html


10 Sahih Al-Bukhari 5728, http://www.iium.edu.my/deed/lawbase/fiqh_us_sunnah/vol4/fsn_vol4a.html

7
It is haram for a person to intentionally throw himself in the destruction by not taking the
preventive measures set. This is in accordance with the saying of Allah SWT:“And do not throw
[yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [by refraining].”11

The Restriction of Movement Order are the steps taken by the government to protect
citizen lives from being the next victim of Covid-19, Covid-19 affected the citizen by direct
touch, mass gathering coughing, sneezing and many more that is capable becoming deadly
disease to the citizen if there is no restriction movement order. The government are bound to
protect the maslahah of the citizen, this can be seen in the Islamic Legal Maxim that “The
actions by a ruler upon his subject are bound to the maslahah,”12 Therefore, the government
suspended mass gatherings like congregational prayers and other meetings as well to stop the
Covid-19 spreading to the citizens, this is to protect the maslahah al-dharuriyyah.

The order from the government and authority must be abided by all citizens to avoid
danger. O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority
among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should
believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result. 13 In this verse, it is
Wajib for the citizen to follow the rules of the authority. Thus, it is important for the citizens to
follow the rules by the Malaysian government to curb and avoid the spreading of Covid-19
according to the Maslahah Mursalah.

The first Shurut or conditions of maslahah mursalah must not be in conflict with a
principle or value which is sustained by a nas or ijma’. In applying this condition to the current
Movement Control Order situation, to restrain negative things happening to the community is by
stopping the congregational prayers is supported by nas and there is no conflict upon the scholars
that raise their consensus. This can be seen in the finding by the scholars, UAE Syar’i Fatwa
Committee led by Syeikh Abdullah bin Bayyah have discussed the ruling of performing the
Friday prayer following the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This is also applicable to other social
activities in the community such as having social gathering and eating in fully crowded

11 Surah al-Baqarah (195)


12 al-Asybah wa al-Nazair Lissuyuti, 121
13 Surah al-Nisaa’ (59)

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restaurants.The Committee found that it is Wajib according to syara’ for the society to follow
and obey the regulation and briefing issued by the body of authorities in the country.

In addition, it is impermissible to reject or contradict the order they issued to control and
manage the containment of the virus from spreading further. In the context of Malaysia, it is
from the Ministry of Health, MOH, who are the authorities that we followed the guideline given
by them. The Committee also found out that Haram for anyone infected or suspected to be
infected to go to public places or the mosque to perform the Friday, congregational or Eid prayer
and eating in restaurants as a preventive step and social gathering are also prohibited.

Additionally, there is rukhsah for the elderly, infected or suspected of being infected to
perform their Friday, congregational and tarawih prayer, where it is permissible for them to pray
in their house and they can just perform Zuhur prayer to replace their Friday prayer.
Furthermore, it is Wajib to support any effort made to contain the spread of the virus by sharing
information that comes from official government sources so that we can maintain a stable and
peaceful country.14

The fatwa is also supported by Markaz al-Fatwa al-Azhar, Kurdistan District Fatwa
Committee, Fatwa Committee of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) and
Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) (Indonesia Ulama Committee)15

Secondly, maslahah must be genuine as opposed to the imaginary. In applying this


condition to the current Movement Control Order, the maslahah is genuine because it is proof
that Coronavirus or Covid-19 can be transmitted by social or public gathering and can also be
transmitted by touching, sneezing, shaking hands and coughing. To avoid the transmission
between many people, the International and Malaysia Fatwa Committee held that the

14 BAYAN LINNAS SERIES 224: COVID-19: OUR ADVICE, https://www.albayan.ae/across-the-


uae/news-and-reports/2020-03-03-1.3793602

15 BAYAN LINNAS SERIES 224: COVID-19: OUR ADVICE,


https://muftiwp.gov.my/en/artikel/bayan-linnas/4295-bayan-linnas-series-224-covid-19-our-advice

9
congregational prayers and social gathering including eating in restaurants should be stopped for
a while because to avoid any contact with many people.

Thirdly, maslahah must be general so as to secure its benefits and prevent harm as a
whole, not to a particular person or group of people. In applying this condition to the current
Movement Control Order, the restriction to go to congregational prayers, attend social gathering
and eating in restaurants are indeed securing the benefits and preventing harm to the public at
large and thus, preventing the disease to transmit from one person to another is vital.

Fourthly, the maslahah must be ma’qulah (rational) and acceptable. In applying this
condition to the current Movement Control Order, it is rational for the people to be confined by
not attending congregational prayers, attending social gatherings and eating in restaurants with
some restrictions to avoid the transmission of Coronavirus..

Fifthly, the maslahah must prevent or eradicate hardship.16 In applying this condition to
the current Movement Control Order, the restriction of congregational prayers, attending social
gatherings and eating in restaurants are to avoid Coronavirus or Covid-19 transmitted from one
to another. This is to prevent and eradicate hardship of the people from having the diseases that
can cause death.

As the Restriction of Movement Order due to Covid-19 in perspective of fiqh maslahah


mursalah has fulfilled all the conditions, hence, it can be concluded that the suspension of
congregational prayers, social gatherings and eating in restaurants are based on the maslahah
mursalah.

Application of Sadd-al Dhara’i Concept in the Outbreak of Covid-19

16 Maslahah as a Source of Islamic Transactions (Muamalat), Nik Abdul Rahim Nik Abdul
Ghani,Hayatullah Laluddin, Amir Husin Mat Nor,Islamiyyat 33 (2011): 59 - 66
http://ejournals.ukm.my/islamiyyat/article/viewFile/1829/1457

10
On March 11th, 2020 the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic,
affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population over a wide geographic area. Given
these latest developments in our understanding of Covid-19 from an Islamic perspective, we will
look into the application of Sadd al-Dharai’i concept regarding the outbreak of Covid-19 issues.
Generally, Sadd al-Dharai’i means blocking the means.17 However, the original definition of
Dharãi is synonymous with wasilah, which means to obtain certain ends. Therefore, Sadd al-
dharai‟ implies blocking the means to an expected end (evil) which is likely to materialise if the
means towards it is not obstructed. The principle of Sadd al-Dhara’i applies in cases where a
lawful means is expected to lead to unlawful result or that a lawful means which normally leads
to a lawful result is used to procure an unlawful end. The objective of practicing Sadd al-
dhara’i‘ (blocking the means) is to maintain public interest (maslaha). This is because the sadd
al-dhara’i ended with leading to and blocking the destruction and damage. Recently, there was a
ban on free movement including all religious activities such as the conduct of Friday prayers at
mosques and prayer rooms to prevent the spreading of the Covid-19 virus.

Therefore, in applying the above mentioned principle in the recent outbreak of Covid-19,
the postponement of performing prayers at mosques including Friday prayers is lawful as to
prevent people from any forms of gathering and fuel a rise in coronavirus infection. Having said
so, Muslim man who left Friday prayers three times in a row during the Movement Control
Order (CPP) is innocent because this Order is necessary to prevent the spread of the current
COVID-19 pandemic. The Terengganu deputy Mufti, Sahibul Fadilah Ahadi Othman, said that
it is legal to leave Friday prayers at the mosque three times in a row during the RMO period, but
it is mandatory to replace it with the supper prayer in their homes. The rule of law is based on
sadd al-dharai’i, which is to say that it is the narrow circumstances that lead to prohibited
matters. Performing Friday prayer is originally permissible, but because of the strong reason for
fear of Covid-19 infection, it may lead to the prohibited matter of deteriorating people’s health
and in the worst case can even result in death.

17 Salleh, A. D., Kashim, M. I. A. M., Adnan, N. I. M., Ghani, N. A. R. N. A., & Jamsari, E. A. (2019).
Theory and Application of Sadd al-Dhara’i‘ (Blocking the Means) in Shafi‘iyya School. International
Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 9(1), 724–737.

11
Furthermore, the rule of the Order is also based on the hadith of Prophet Muhammad,
which also state the underlying principle for the proper reaction to an infectious disease such as
Covid-19. The statement of the Messenger of Allah, “Do not cause harm, and don’t get harmed
[lā ḍarar wa lā ḍirār].”18

There is historical legal precedent in exempting people from the Friday prayer for reasons
which may be considered less severe than Covid-19 concerns and is a great example of the
application of Sadd al-dharai’i. The Ḥanbalī legal scholar Imam Ibn Qudāmah wrote, “a man
may be excused for not praying Friday prayer because of rain that makes the clothes wet, or
mud that causes annoyance or stains the clothes. It was narrated that Ibn ʿAbbās said to the
caller of prayer on a very rainy day: ‘When you say: I bear witness that there is no god but Allah
and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, do not say ‘come to prayer’ but
rather say ‘pray in your houses’. Contemporary scholar Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn explained this
exception as follows, “in the past, people used to suffer because of mud, because the
marketplaces had dirt floors, and when rain fell it became muddy and slippery, so it was very
difficult for people to attend the mosque. If this happens, then he is excused. But nowadays, that
does not cause any problem, because the markets are paved and there are no dirt floors.”19

Moreover, Imam Ibn ʿAbdul Barr20 wrote, “anything that would inconvenience one’s
fellow worshipers in the mosque such as anyone afflicted with diarrhea, foul odor due to illness,
infectious virus, or anything else that would inconvenience the public, it is permitted for people
to keep such an individual away, as long as the ailment is present. Once the condition ceases,
they may return to the mosque.” Therefore, applying the concept of Sad al-Dharai’, it may be
legitimately argued that heavy rain, even in the past, was less severe than the current infection of
Covid 19. Hence, by not performing Friday prayer in the mosque can be said to prevent a greater
harm which is the spreading of Coronavirus which can result to death.

18 [Muwaṭṭa’ #1435].
19 [Ash-Sharḥ Al-Mumtiʿ 4:317]
20 [d. 1071 CE]

12
In addition, The Messenger of Allah said, “an ill person should not mix with healthy
people.”21 The Prophet also said, “avoid a contagious disease the way a person flees from a
lion.”22 Therefore, taking precautions to avoid the spread of infectious disease is something
prescribed in Islam. Anyone testing positive for Covid-19 is not allowed to attend community
events since they would be harming other people, and that is prohibited. The same applies for
people who have travelled to the most affected areas such as China, Italy, and the United States
of America.

Islam places a high importance on human safety especially in situations that can
adversely affect and threaten our lives. Islam has set some specific guidelines for dealing with
emergencies such as a disease outbreak. This emergency situation allows individuals, and the
public, to take certain precautions. When there is a clash between a benefit (maslahah) and a
harm (mafsadah), avoiding the harm (mafsadah) is prioritized.23 If a harm is left unchecked, it
will leave a lasting negative impact compared to when a benefit is avoided. This is in line with
the Prophetic saying on “avoiding any forms of harm and to not harm others”.

Based on the Islamic legal maxim known as Sadd al-Zara'i', taking precautionary and
preventive measures to avoid being infected by any diseases is also highly important as it is in
line with the Islamic principle of preserving one’s life. Furthermore, Islam emphasizes the
necessity for those who are unwell to seek medical advice and undergo necessary treatments.
The Prophet s.a.w. used to instruct those who are well to avoid coming into close contact with
individuals who have been afflicted by infectious diseases. This has been used as a basis by
Muslim scholars to conclude that taking precautionary and preventive measures are better than
having to seek cure or undergo treatment. A general principle has been adopted by jurists that
'preventing harm takes priority over securing a benefit'24. As such, those acts must be rejected if
they lead to bad things. Authority for Sadd al-Dharai is also found in Sunnah where Prophet
Muhammad prohibits a creditor to take a gift from debtor (as it could lead to taking of interest).
He also prohibits killing of hypocrites and people who were known to have betrayed the Muslim

21 [Muslim #2221b]
22 [Bukhārī #5707]
23 Abdullah, A.B. 2014. An analysis of Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) as applied Islamic ethics. Islam and
Civilisational Renewal 5(2): 183–203.
24 Shatibi, Muwafaqat (Diraz edition),IV, 195.]

13
community during battles. It was feared that killing such people would become a means to evil,
namely, of giving rise to a rumour that 'Muhammad kills his own Companions' 25. The objectives
which were expounded by al-Ghazali maintains that the purpose of Shari’ah is to preserve or
protect the masalih, exemplified by five main essentials of human beings, which are faith (din),
life (nafs), intellectual (‘aql), property (mal) and lastly, lineage (nasl) 26. Al-Ghazali believes that
the major purpose of Shari’ah law is to safeguard or preserve those essentials, which eventually
bring benefit for human life. However, if a person is allowed to attend community events,
perform their prayers at a mosque and eventually harms other people, it will be totally contrary
to the main objective of maqasid Shariah.

Hence, in applying the concept of Sadd al-Dharai, harm infection of Covid-19 definitely
outweigh the securing benefit under five main essentials of maqasid Shariah. Since the five basic
purposes of Shariah are violated, therefore, the means must be blocked as preventing the evils
takes priority over securing benefit. In other words, any gatherings including performing Friday
prayers is prohibited as to prevent a greater harm which is the spreading of Coronavirus.
Furthermore, Restriction of Movement Order due to the spreading of Coronavirus can be
classified under the means which definitely lead to evil. It can be seen by the example happened
in South Korea, whereby the government loosened social distancing rules from May 6, letting
national museums and libraries reopen and operate as usual. This has caused the number of new
daily cases to spike largely due to a cluster infection. Similarly, in Malaysia, if people were
allowed to go out as per normal, such as to travel, mass gathering, perform prayers, especially
Friday prayers at a mosque, it will definitely increase the risk of the spreading of Covid 19 which
obviously lead to greater evils of infection and even may lead to death.

Legal Opinion

25 Shatibi, Muwafaqat, IV, 62.


26 Al-Ghazali suggests that: “In its essential meaning it (maslahah) is an expression for seeking
something useful (manfa’ah) or removing something harmful (maÌarrah). But this is not what we mean,
because seeking utility and removing harm are the purposes (maqasid) at which the creation (khalq) aims
and the goodness (SalAÍ) of creation consists in realizing their goals (Maqasid). What we mean by
Maslahah is the preservation of the Maqasid (objective) of the Shari’ah law, which consists of five things:
preservation of religion, of life, of reason, of descendants and of property. What assures the preservation
of these five principles (uSËl) is Maslahah and whatever fails to preserve them is mafsadah and its
removal is Maslahah” (al-Ghazali, Op. Cit., vol. 1, pp. 286-7).

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In this submission, we agree that the opinion made by the scholars according to the
methods of Fiqh of Maslahah Mursalah and Sadd al-Dharai’i are convenient to be applied in the
issue of Restriction Movement Order due to Covid-19. As discussed earlier, in making an
injunction according to Islamic perspective, the methods of Fiqh of Maslahah Mursalah plays an
important role in ensuring the benefits and preventing harm to the people. In the current issue,
the role of government as the authorities in charge of keeping the safety of the nation by
implementing Restriction Movement Order is the Maslahah to protect its citizens from the harm
of deadly infection of Covid-19. Due to that, the government suspended the congregational
prayers, mass gathering, inter state travel and other outdoor activities to avoid harm.

The harm that Covid-19 gives is that it may be infected from one person to another
person via touching, coughing, and sneezing as well as its transmission through social or outdoor
activities. This is an ideal objective in the perspective of the method of fiqh of Sadd al-Dhara’i
where the focus of lockdown and movement restriction is particularly to avoid from the harm of
Covid-19 infection. The benefits is if there are no social or outdoor activities such as
congregational prayers, the harm can be minimized by avoiding the infectious person to transmit
the disease to another person. Hence, in our opinion we agreed with the government order to
implement the Restriction Movement Order due to Covid-19 is valid under the Masalih Mursalah
and Sadd al-Dhara'i.

All in all, in our analysis, when combining these 2 tools of fiqh which are Maslahah
Mursalah and Sadd al-Dhara’i, we have come to conclude that the issuance of Movement
Control Order due to Covid-19 is really an effective way in preventing greater hardship of virus
infection which can be deadly to the people. We have seen that Covid-19 has the severe and
immediate impact of fatality and hardship that can deteriorate people’s health and may cause
death. This is in line with the general principle that preventing the evils (ie the spreading of
Coronavirus) takes priority over securing the benefit which is protecting people’s health and
safety.

Therefore, the prolonging of MCO is necessary to avoid the harm of infection hence
securing the benefit of maintaining people’s health. The quarantine steps practices in Malaysia

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has successfully been implemented which first initiates its movement with restriction for certain
red zone areas to the Conditional one after the record of infected patients shows some declines
(CMCO) and finally we are moving forward to the Recovery phase under RMCO. The
severeness of Covid-19 infection must not be taken lightly even though there are not many cases
of infection as of now. This is because, to prevent harm is much more important than securing
the benefit. The standard operation procedure (SOP) shall be adhered to and abide by all citizens
in ensuring people’s safety from the harm of infection. Then only the benefit of maintaining
health can be obtained.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, the Restriction Movement Order due to Covid-19 from the perspective of
Masalih Mursalah and Sadd al-Dhara’i ensure the benefits of keeping safety of the public at large
and avoid the harm of Covid-19 infection. According to both methods of Fiqh it is important for
us to adhere to the restrictions made by the government. This method of Fiqh is also in line with
the public benefits. As we discussed earlier, in the methods of Masalih Mursalah are the
authorities who have the capabilities to prevent harm by implementing the order for the benefits
of the citizen.

As for the Sadd al- Dhara'i, blocking the means of good matters to avoid harm later is
also applicable in this Restriction Movement Order. The suspension of mass gathering,
congregational prayers, Friday prayers and outdoor activities to avoid the harm of Covid-19
disease transmission is also the best method. In other words,the the outdoor activities are
permitted by law, but in the event of Covid-19, the government has to take the precaution of
blocking the means by the Restriction Movement Order to avoid the harm of the of the Covid-19
disease transmission

As a citizen it is best if we know the Islamic perspective according to the methods of


Fiqh in the rationale behind Restriction Movement Order to break the chain of disease
transmission because it is very important for the citizen to practice and follow the rules
implemented to the citizen, moreover, the order give more advantages than disadvantages.

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