MUSWEN, scholars evaluate Islamic views on Covid-19, recommend way forward

by Muizat Hameed

The Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria has organized a webinar to determine the views of Islamic scholars and other intellectuals on the impacts of the ravaging pandemic and make recommendations on the way forward.

The Webinar which was themed “Covid-19: Effects and Muslims responses”, was held on Tuesday July 7, 2020.

In attendance were 62 prominent scholars, who spoke and participated in the different topics relating to the theme.

The participants included Professors D. O. S. Noibi, M.O. Opeloye, T.G.O. Gbadamosi and Taofeeq Abdul Azeez, Alhaji Ishaq Kunle Sanni, Barrister Y.K.O. Abdul-Kareem and Dr. Tunde Popoola among others.

In a statement released at the end of the discussion, Professor M. T. Yahya, the executive secretary of MUSWEN and coordinator of the webinar, emphasized the novelty of the coronavirus and the controversy about its genesis.

According to Yahya, the Coronavirus, also known as “COVID -19” is novel in the life of human being, although there are controversies surrounding its origin.

“There is cause to believe that it is a natural Virus, not likely to have been generically manufactured, neither does it seem to have any connection with the “5G network” as being speculated,” said Yahya.

While commenting on the closure of mosques as a result of the pandemic, the statement affirmed that locking up of mosques is an aberration.

It noted that the lockdown of house of worship is an exception necessitated by the fast spreading nature of “COVID-19” and justifiable within the “objective of Islamic Law’ (maqasid al-Shari’ah) under the provision of “preservation of human life”.

It, however, stated that mosques cannot continue to remain locked up perpetually in the circumstance of the ‘new norm’.

“The impacts of COVID-19 have been devastating in many ways; the pandemic has claimed many lives and the lockdown has prevented the Ummah from many acts of ‘Ibadah for which Allah SWT had promised lots of rewards in this world and in the hereafter.

“Nevertheless, it has kept families together, discouraged unnecessary external interactions and at the same time forced believers to learn new ways of reaching out to distant relations and the rest of the Ummah to share knowledge and exchange views equally beneficial to the Ummah in this world and in the hereafter,” the statement reads.

In his recommendations to Muslims on the best approach to living during this pandemic, Dr Yahya recommended that, “Every individual should take personal responsibility to protect themselves against “COVID-19” by observing with every sense of seriousness, the preventive measures enforced by governments and medical experts.”

He added that governments should however ensure that the health-care centers have adequate facilities to promptly handle fresh cases, while frantic efforts continue towards finding lasting remedy to the Pandemic.

“Before mosques and other worship places are declared safe for use by worshippers, regular sanitization of such places through fumigation and the provision of hygiene-enhancing equipment should be jointly provided as a matter of responsibility, by governments and religious groups,” he stressed.

“Every family should imbibe the spirit of togetherness, learn to permanently avoid unnecessary interactions through social parties and gatherings, and make the best of the new and safe ways of interaction even in learning and trading.

“Prayer remains the sword and shield of the believer; all believers should be constant in prayers and supplication, seek forgiveness of Allah, desist from evil deeds and show kindness to one another in order to attract the mercy and blessings of Allah,” the professor advised.

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