A few Muslims still insist on conducting congregational prayers, particularly the weekly Friday Jumu‘ah prayer despite the ravaging Corona Virus in all parts of the globe, reported the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), in a press statement signed by the director of the group, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The Islamic human rights group has warned Muslims to eschew extreme positions in matters of religion.
“We are nonplussed by the lethargy manifested by some Muslims towards the danger posed by Covid-19. In spite of the 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 canceled 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 warned against extremist propensities. They warned fellow Muslims against tramadolised religiosity and articulated spirituality. The former manifests when Muslims insist on observing Jumu’ah in this corona-infested atmosphere while the latter is exhibited when they insist on conducting asalatu sessions in this dangerous period.
The Islamic human rights group salutes the umbrella Islamic organization in Nigeria, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) for enlightening Muslims in the country on the need for obeying government’s instructions on Covid-19.
Furthermore, MURIC called the attention of such cynics to the gravity of the situation with references to Germany’s ban on any gathering that is more than two people and Italy’s total lockdown as the number of fatalities rose to 4,825 by yesterday.
MURIC urges all Muslims to see the government’s instructions on Covid-19 as necessary and beneficial to them. It is therefore in their best interest to cooperate
“We call on Muslims to supplicate individually for Nigeria to overcome this humongous health challenge within a short time. Individual Muslims are also urged to seek forgiveness from Allah for the interruptions in our pattern of worship. We remind Nigerian Muslims that Islam teaches moderation, not extremism. We, therefore, advise against the gymnastic exhibition of piety. There is no point trying to be more Muslim than Muhammad (SAW), the Islamic Group stated”.