The Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN) organized a webinar with the theme “COVID-19”: EFFECTS AND MUSLIMS RESPONSES to access views of Islamic Scholars and other experts on the fallouts of the ravaging Pandemic and come up with recommendations on the way forward.

Four (4) presentations were made as follows:
i. ‘The Source of “COVID-19”: Speculations, Possibilities and the Scientific Reality’ by Professor Muheez Durosinmi of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife
ii. ‘Lockdown of Mosques for “COVID-19”: Justification, Implications and Limitations’ by Professor Abdul-Razaq Abdul-Majeed Alaro of University of Ilorin

iii. ‘Implications and Consequences of “COVID-19” Disruption of Islamic Practices’ by Prof. Abdul Ganiy Raji, the Ogun State Resident Electoral Commissioner
iv. ‘Lessons for the Ummah from the “COVID-19” Experiences’ by Imam Nojmudeen Jimoh, COO, Taurus Oil and Gas Ltd. Lagos.

The fifth presenter, Professor Mashood Baderin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London who was billed to speak on ‘ “COVID-19” and the Reality of Islamic Jurisprudence’ sent in an apology.

Other prominent Islamic scholars and experts in other disciplines who participated and contributed to the discussions include 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. The meeting with 62 participants was coordinated by the Executive Secretary of MUSWEN, Professor M. T. Yahya.

From the presentations and discussions, the meeting came up with the following observations:
i. The CoronaVirus, also known as “COVID -19” is novel in the life of human being , but 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.

ii. No certain remedy to “COVID-19” has been discovered so far, yet every human being is susceptible to it; there is no end to it in sight therefore the presence of “COVID-19” has to be accepted as the “new norm”.

iii. “COVID-19” infection can be prevented if the recommended measures are taken seriously and moreover, there are indications that 70-80% of its victims are likely to survive if adequate care is taken and survivors would not be re-infected as immunity is built over time.

iv. Locking up of mosques is an aberration, it is an exception brought about by necessity due to 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”; however, it is certain that mosques cannot continue to remain locked up perpetually in the circumstance of the “new norm”.

v. The consequences of “COVID-19” have been devastating in many ways, the Pandemic has taken many lives and the lockdown has prevented the Ummah from many acts of ‘Ibadah for which Allah SWT had promised lots of reward in this world and in the Hereafter, but 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.

vi. Apparently, the “COVID-19” experience has turned out to be a trial from Allah in the manner He the Almighty had indicated in the Qur’an, to enable believers learn lessons of Iman (faith), Ikhlas (Sincerity of purpose), Taqwa (Consistent consciousness of Allah) and of laying less emphasis on materialism in the process of living and pursuit of livelihood. Persistent sins of man and deviation from the ways of Allah might have kindled this situation as a punishment from Allah. as well.

In the light of the above observations the meeting came up with the following recommendations:
I. The United Nations Organization (UN), the World Health Organization (WHO) and all regional international organizations in the world should endeavor to interact in matters of politics, economy and culture in ways that would promote world peace and encourage working together for the greater benefit of humanity and desist from creating atmospheres of unhealthy rivalry and mutual suspicion.

II. Governments, Religious and Social organizations and the citizenry should all see “COVID-19” as a common enemy and work individually and collectively to tackle its menace with a view to ensuring that it does not constitute a permanent threat to safety and the economic, spiritual and social well being of the human society. Scholars and experts under the auspices of notable Islamic umbrella organizations such as the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), the Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) should put heads together individually and collectively and come up with the best ways to maintain meaningful acts of worship in the atmosphere of “the new norm”.

III. Every individual should take personal responsibility to protect themselves against “COVID-19” by observing with every sense of seriousness, the recommended preventive measures advised by governments and experts; governments should however ensure that the health-care centres have adequate facilities to promptly handle fresh cases, while frantic efforts continue towards finding lasting remedy to the Pandemic.

IV. Before mosques and other worship places are declared safe for use by worshippers, regular sanitization of such places by fumigation and the provision of hygiene enhancing equipment should be jointly provided as a matter of responsibility, by governments and worship groups to ensure that such places do not only remain open to worshippers but are visibly safe.

V. 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.

VI. 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.

Oh Allah, forgive our sins and guide us to the most appropriate remedy to the ravaging “COVID-19” and enable us to gather in Your holy places to worship You in ways most pleasing to You.

Professor Muslih Tayo Yahya,

Executive Secretary/CEO,

8th July, 2020,

(17th Dhul Qa‘dah 1441)


Related posts