The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar, has described as unfortunate and misleading preaching by some Islamic clerics on government’s directives for citizens to stay at home.
Abubakar spoke yesterday through the secretary of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Khalid Aliyu.
JNI is the umbrella body for Nigerian Muslims, headquartered in Kaduna State.
The Sultan urged Muslims to avoid a repeat of the trend in Italy, “which was partly due to non-adherence to expert advice over the pandemic.”
Citing Suratun-Nahl, Chapter 16:43 of the Qur’an, where Muslims are asked to “…ask those who know if you know not,” Abubakar urged adherents of Islam to act only based on knowledge and not their whims.
State governments have banned large gatherings but some religious leaders, have flouted the directive.
The Kaduna State government has arrested Aminu Usman and Umar Shangel, two imams who flouted the state’s directive by leading the congregationalw prayers last Friday.
Abubakar said this “clearly depicts sheer whims and caprices of their myopic worldview, stark ignorance of reality based on genuine knowledge and medical scholarship.
“It is, however, regrettable that the negative actions of such preachers incite innocent Muslims, who are unaware of the serious health implications of adhering to such empty dispositions that invariably endanger humanity.
“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.
“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).”