Staying home [during Covid times] is a Prophetic teaching:
“Those who stay at home to protect themselves and others are under the protection of Allah.” – Musnad Ahmad
This narration is authentic. However it does not refer to staying at home as a form of isolation or quarantine to protect others/oneself from disease.
In Musnad Ahmad, the Hadith is worded as follows:
Sayyiduna Mu’adh ibn Jabal (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reported that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) informed them that five deeds secured the protection of Allah. The fifth deed being “…Whoever sits in his house so that people are safe from him and he is safe from people, [his security is guaranteed by Allah].”
(Musnad Ahmad, vol. 5 pg. 241)
The version in Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah and Sahih Ibn Hibban clearly explain what is meant by ‘People are safe from him and he is safe from people’:
Sayyiduna Mu’adh ibn Jabal (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reported that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “…..Whoever sits at home and does not backbite people, will be under the protection of Allah.”
(Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, Hadith: 1495, Sahih Ibn Hibban; Al Ihsan, Hadith: 372. See the full Hadith here)
Therefore this Hadith is referring to staying at home and not harming people by speaking ill of them, swearing them or physically harming them.
(Also see: Faydul Qadir, Hadith: 3960)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar,
Furthermore, ‘the protection of Allah’ that is promised in the Hadith refers to protection from Jahannam, with entry into Jannah.
(Faydul Qadir, Hadith: 3960, At-Taysir, and As-Sirajul Munir).