Coronavirus: NSCIA reacts to ban on religious gatherings, sends message to Muslims

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The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has urged Muslims to comply with government’s ban on religious gatherings.

NSCIA admited that the measures taken to check the spread of coronavirus pandemic will affect congregational prayers, but advised Muslims to comply.

The Lagos government on Wednesday, called for a suspension of gatherings of over 50 worshippers, in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

NSCIA in a statement signed by Salisu Shehu, its deputy secretary-general, said: “It should be noted that these measures are all almost exactly similar to the ones that were taken when such kind of pandemic took place during the reign of Caliph Umar (r.a.) in the 18th year after Hijra which caused the death of several companions of the Prophet (s.a.w). That was ta’uun amwaas (the Amwaas epidemic),” the statement read.

“It is strongly advised that all segments of the society, including religious bodies adhere strictly to all public health directives and regulations provided by the competent authorized agencies such as Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) – available on www.ncdc.gov.ng – and the Federal and State Ministries of Health regarding COVID-19.

“This is in line with the Qura’nic injunction, ‘O You who believe, obey Allah and the Messenger, and those in authority among you’ (Qur’an 4:59). It is also in line with the injunction of Allah in Chapter 16, verse 43 that says: ‘…..So ask those who possess knowledge if you do not know.”

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