Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria, MUSWEN has joined in the call on governments to provide palliative measures to cushion the effects of stay-at-home order on the citizens.
This is contained in a statement in Ibadan by Executive Secretary of MUSWEN, Professor Muslih Yahya.
Professor Yahya noted that it will be justified on the part of the governments to punish any violation of stay-at-home rules provided palliative measures were put in place for all citizens staying off their means of livelihood.
“The governments are implored to provide palliative measures to cushion the attendant economic hardships as a result of citizens staying off their works and means of livelihood. Only then may the governments be well advised to adequately punish any violation of “quarantine” or stay-at-home rules”.
He also called on the governments to provide adequate protection for healthcare and other service providers while on their duty of saving lives.
“The governments must also provide adequate protection for health care and other service providers while on their duties of saving lives”.
“We pray to Almighty Allah to save the world from the deadly virus that threatens our existence”.
The MUSWEN Executive Secretary said the sacrifice of suspending congregational prayers is inevitable and in line with Islamic ethics while such should not be allowed to, in any way cause any division within the Muslim community.
“The Muslim Ummah all over the world is particularly hard-hit by the social distancing measures necessitated by the pandemic because the congregation is a very important and highly rewarding aspect of the Islamic worship”. “Consequently, it is creating serious division within the Ummah. Understandably, some believers do not want to accept that anything, whatsoever, should hinder congregational prayers especially on Friday, the Eid days and the Tawaf and other pilgrimage related congregations”. “Unfortunately, the reality of the situation created by the presence of Coronavirus and its mode and rate of spreading in most parts of the world is such that the “sacrifice” of having to suspend large assemblies, for now, is, in most cases, inevitable. Such suspension would fall squarely within the clear injunction of Allah in Surah al-Baqarah: …and make not your own hands contribute to your destruction… (Quran, 2:195) as well as highly popular guidelines given by the Prophet (SAW) for handling of epidemics or pandemic situations. Therefore, it is essential that the issue of suspending large congregational prayers is not allowed to, in any way cause any division within the Ummah. The Unity of the Ummah is always more important than any trivial points of differences of opinion, for Allah warns against consequences of disunity of the Ummah in, among others Surah al-Anfal, (Quran 8:46)”.
He emphasized that the current situation should be seen by Muslims as an opportunity to be closer to Allah by spending the stay-at-home times in engaging in spiritual activities like the recitation of Quran, supplications, fasting in this month of Shaban, which precedes Ramadan.
“This current situation should be seen as an opportunity to be closer to our God by spending our isolation and stay-at-home times in engaging in spiritual activities like tilawatul Quran, adhkar, supplications, fasting, etc especially in this holy month of Shaban”.
Professor Yahya explained that MUSWEN, which is an umbrella for all Islamic communities and organisations in the Southwest region has as well aligned with the government’s directives in line with the current reality of COVID-19.
“MUSWEN has taken steps along the line of social distancing by terminating or postponing parts of its scheduled important activities and suspending decision or further action on others while monitoring the situation”.
“The Secretariat Staff have been compelled to work from home in observance of the stay-at-home measures”. “A MUSWENs Health NGO, Muslim Ummah of South-West Nigeria Health Care Givers Society had, weeks ago released a statement, a leaflet on Covid-19 educating the populace about, and giving admonition on, the prevention of the deadly virus”.
He lauded the efforts of governments at both the federal and states at curbing the spread of the virus and enjoined to do more to halt the disease while imploring the people to support the governments to achieve the feat.
“MUSWEN commends the efforts of governments at all levels in the country at curtailing the spread of the virus. We declare our total support and pledge compliance with all measures recommended by experts and relevant authorities and directives of the governments aimed at stopping the spread”.
“Nigeria is not yet close enough to such an improving situation. This means there is still much more that needs to be done both by the Government and the populace. The spread of the virus can only be through human to human transmission. Therefore curtailing its spread can only be by avoiding close contacts with individuals who have it. We salute the citizens who diligently obeyed the authorities’ directives which include the maintenance of the rules of hygiene, social distancing and staying indoors. Others are further implored to comply with the directives though difficult in the face of economic hardship. The truth remains that the more strictly we adhere to the preventive measures the faster we go on the path of curtailing the spread and subsequently eradicating the virus and getting back to our normal healthy patterns of social, spiritual and economic life”.
“However, Alhamdulillah, there is good news: the pandemic, Coronavirus is, after all, not totally uncontrollable as some countries including China where it all began, is beginning to get out of the worst situations in which they had been. They are successfully curtailing the spread and they are sustaining the improved situation”.