apologies brother i do not want to sound condescending, but this is a major shortcoming affecting our community as a whole and particularly sunnis. we are content with summary judgements and are unwilling to think nor adapt to our times. nor are we interested in examining the hadith that are cited as proof. as for rational inquiry and reasoning - most have either abandoned it altogether or do not give it sufficient importance. what else explains poor reasoning that is rife in intellectual discourse? --- "level of iman that they would rather attend the masjid and die" sounds very noble and pious. but remember that ulama who were far more pious and righteous than we can hope to be and had better understanding of the shariah listed out cases that merit exemption from jama'ah. let's take bahar e shariat, for example: extreme cold, storm, torrential rain, mud, slush or sleet etc. ALSO: - fear that one's food or property could be damaged, stolen, hurt etc. - a poor man in debt who cannot repay his debt and fears that the lender will accost him - fear of a tyrant (or in general someone who can hurt him - say a mafioso or a local goon) - fear that the caravan will leave (in our times, that one may miss their flight or train) of course, this is for the individuals and does not mean shut down mosques. i understand that. my point is that in the present circumstance it is not wise to go to gatherings. as for shutting down mosques completely that is a different issue/argument. perhaps we could have a functional jama'at of few people who take precautions and maintain the jama'at while the rest pray at homes. Allah ta'ala knows best.