The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has warned Islamic faithfuls against the notion of having large gatherings amidst coronavirus.
In a statement issued by MURIC director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, Muslims should keep themselves safe and not try to be more Muslim than Prophet Muhammad.
The statement reads:
“In spite of government’s efforts at sensitizing the general public on the need to shun gatherings, many Muslims are still calling our office asking us to speak against the ban on public gatherings so that they could observe Jumu‘ah service.
“Let us make our position clear on this. MURIC will not support any Muslim group or individual found contravening the ban on public assembly because the ban is in the best interest of citizens. It is not targeted at any religious group.
“Saudi Arabia cancelled all Jumu‘ah prayers. It also suspended ‘Umrah. For the first time in history, nobody is performing tawaaf at the Haram. In Kuwait, adhan (call to prayer) has been changed from ‘Come for prayer’ (haya ala al-salat) to ‘Pray in your houses (soluu fii buyuutikunm). But here in Nigeria we still find a handful of Muslims who insist on conducting Jumu’ah service. Do we want to be more Muslim than Muhammad (peace be upon him)?
“MURIC warns against extremist propensities. We all can see where Boko Haram has taken us. It started from little excesses like this. Islam is a religion of moderation. It is dangerous phenomena like Corona Virus that the Glorious Qur’an warned us against when it said ‘Do not make your hands contribute to your own destruction, but do good for Allah loves those who do good (Wa laa tulquu biaydiikunm ila al-tahlukah, Qur’an 2:195).
“We Muslims must face reality. The manner of congregational salat inside the mosque has all the likelihoods of infection. We stand shoulder to shoulder and feet to feet. There must be no gap between a worshipper and the man standing next to him. On the contrary, health experts recommend at least one meter between persons in social interaction in order to prevent infection.
“MURIC urges all Muslims to see government’s instructions on Covid-19 as necessary and beneficial to them. It is therefore in their best interest to cooperate. Zuhr prayers should be offered at home in place of Jumu’ah. The same may be done with the five congregational prayers where the number of those in the mosque is more than 20. However, we strongly advise praying daily salat at home with members of the family as domestic jama’ah.”