The Jama’atu Nasril Islam has cautioned Islamic preachers against misleading their followers over COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The JNI gave the warning in a press statement issued by its Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Aliyu, on Monday in Kaduna.
Aliyu said: “The JNI under the leadership of Sultan of Sokoto, Dr Sa’ad Abubakar, is once again saddened with the recent unfortunate developments of misleading the Muslim Ummah by some sections of Ulama (preachers) over the corona virus prevalence.
“We must as an Ummah avoid a repeat of the current trend in Italy, which was partly due to non-adherence to expert advice over the pandemic.
“Allah, the Most Wise says ‘…So ask those who know if you know not’.
“Therefore, we should all bear in mind that knowledge is an Amanah (Trust) and must be safeguarded and delivered as such, thus the need for this statement.”
The JNI noted that the action of some of the clerics clearly depicted their myopic worldview, stark ignorance of genuine knowledge and medical scholarship.
It regretted that the negative actions of such preachers had incited innocent Muslims who are unaware of the serious health implications of the pandemic.
It said: “Nonetheless, it should be noted that the issue of plague and/or pandemic is not new throughout human history, either at various times or places, the Muslim world inclusive.
“It is thus sheer monumental ignorance to falsely claim that the Pandemic of the Coronavirus does not exist and that it is a lie and a shadow of a ghost.”
Aliyu explained that anyone uttering such lamentable statements “is not worth being called a scholar”.
He said: “For the information of discerning minds, there were prominent incidents of plagues and epidemics in Islamic history, which caused monumental mortality.
“As a result of which various safety steps were taken, so as to curtail the spread of such viruses.
“Such steps extended to the stoppage of congregational prayers including Jumu’ah Friday prayer with an interim halt to the performance of Hajj pilgrimage.”
The statement said the Sultan is urging all Muslims to undertake fasting in this month of Sha’aban to seek Allah’s help in ending the virus.
It urged health personnel to be cautious while discharging their duties.
It said: “Nigerian medics must however watch out for their safety, while treating cases of Coronavirus patients, to avoid collateral damage on the health system, as the current news from UCH, Ibadan, isn’t palatable.
“Government on the other hand, must take all the necessary proactive measures in providing emergency manpower, equipment, protective equipment and medications.
“As well as provide more testing kits and isolation Centres, as information being peddled suggests that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is already overwhelmed.
“May Allah, the Exalted grant healing to all those tested positive of this virus and may He restore back peace and security in our dear country, and continue to protect the health of the Nigerian citizenry and the world at large.”