Muslim Rights Concern [MURIC] has warned Muslims to eschew extreme positions in matters of religion.
This came amidst reports that a few Muslims still insist on conducting congregational prayers, particularly the weekly Friday Jumu‘ah prayer despite the ravaging Coronavirus in all parts of the globe.
MURIC made the call a statement signed by the Director of the group, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Monday.
The group warned Muslims against tramadolised religiosity and articulated spirituality, it said 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.
“We are nonplussed by the lethargy manifested by some Muslims towards the danger posed by Covid-19. 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 services,” the group added.
“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 tawaf 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 Coronavirus 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)
“Prophet Muhammad said, ‘We (Muslims) are a nation of middle-roaders’. He also said on another occasion, ‘The curse of Allah is upon extremists’. He taught us to be wary of harm, i.e. we should not endanger our lives unnecessarily : This he did by saying, ‘Where there is a tangible harm, it ought to be removed.’
“MURIC salutes the umbrella Islamic organisation 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. NSCIA’s statement on the epidemic was scholarly, comprehensive and insightful. We also commend the efforts of other Islamic organisations which issued public statements announcing the stoppage of all gatherings of their followers for either prayers, meetings or social events like naming, marriage and funeral ceremonies until the Corona Virus crisis is over.
“We urge other groups to follow suit. All Islamic organisations should emulate the NSCIA by obeying government’s directives. The Glorious Qur’an directed Muslims to obey those in positions of authority (Qur’an 4:59).
“Based on this, MURIC will not entertain any complaints brought by recalcitrant elements. We base our actions on rationality and credibility. We have no apologies for those whose requests were rejected by us when they sought our backing to conduct Jumu’ah prayer at a time that the whole world is battling Covid-19. We urge them to go back to the true teachings of Islam on such matters.
“Furthermore, we call the attention of such cynics to the gravity of the situation. Germany yesterday banned any gathering that is more than two people.
“Italy is under total lockdown as the number of fatalities rose to 4,825 by yesterday. Lagos initially limited the number of people allowed in any gathering to 50 but this was later reduced to 20 and it is all in our interest as the number of infections in Nigeria rose to 27 yesterday.
“We Muslims must face reality. The manner of congregational salat inside the mosque has all the likelihood 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.
“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 gymnastic exhibition of piety. There is no point trying to be more Muslim than Muhammad (SAW).”
Recall that the Lagos state government had on Wednesday banned all religious gatherings involving over 50 worshippers.
The Government took the decision in agreement with religious leaders in the State.
Covid-19: Edo death toll hits 50
The death toll from COVID-19 in Edo State has climbed to 50, with 1,435 people testing positive for the disease.
The state, however, said 840 persons have been discharged from its isolation facilities.
Commissioner for Health Dr Patrick Okundia, who stated these to reporters in Benin City, noted that over 50 per cent of the deaths recorded in the state are within the age category of 60 years and above.
He urged residents to be cautious in protecting themselves and their loved ones.
Expressing worry over the alarming rate of community spread of the virus, Okundia said there was a need for residents to take responsibility and support the government’s efforts at containing the pandemic across communities.
According to him,
“Physical distancing, compulsory use of face masks, hand hygiene and other epidemiological safety rules must be strictly followed to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and protect the people, especially the elderly, who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.”
The commissioner explained that the state recorded 52 new confirmed cases with 32 tested at the Irrua Specialist Hospital (ISTH) laboratory, while the remaining 20 cases were confirmed at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) laboratory.
Okundia, however, reiterated the need for citizens to present or report themselves through the state COVID-19 toll-free response lines, following any recent travel from high incidence states or contact with confirmed cases.
Nigeria records 503 new COVID-19 cases, total now 29, 879
Nigeria, on Tuesday, recorded 503 new cases of COVID-19 in 20 states, bring the total confirmed cases to 29,879, with 669 deaths.
Of the new cases reported by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Lagos which is the epicenter, leads with a total of 153 cases, followed by Ondo State with 76 confirmed cases.
Other states are Edo-54, FCT-41, Enugu-37, Rivers-30, Benue-24,Osun-20, Kaduna-15, Kwara-13, Abia-9, Borno-8, Plateau-6, Taraba-5, Ogun-3, Kano-3, Kebbi-2, Nasarawa-2, Bayelsa-1 and Gombe-1.
So far Nigeria has discharged a total of 12,108 and had recorded 669 deaths as of July 7.
The NCDC report also revealed that 203 cases were discharged in the last 24 hours in 11 states— Edo, 87; FCT, 33; Lagos, 23; Rivers, 19; Akwa Ibom, 17; Ebonyi, 12; Kano, 5; Gombe, 3; Ondo, 2; Bauchi, 1 and Ogun, 1.
Also, 11 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours in six states: Oyo -5, Rivers -2 Adamawa 1, Akwa Ibom 1, Bayelsa -1, and Gombe- 1.
503 new cases of COVID19Nigeria;
Two-year-old girl raped while in hospital’s coronavirus isolation ward
A two-year-old girl was allegedly raped while in a Coronavirus isolation ward at a hospital in South Africa.
The alleged incident happened at the Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital in Pretoria.
The toddler’s aunt, who chose to remain anonymous to protect the identity of the child, said that the girl was sexually abused while admitted at the hospital
She said the hospital told to the child’s mother that her daughter needed to be placed on an isolation ward after she developed symptoms of Covid-19. After the mother went home, she was contacted later that evening and told the child was crying and appeared to be in serious pain.
The aunt said that after the child had been picked up from the hospital, she appeared to be struggling to walk.
After the mother closely inspected her child she discovered that there had been ‘penetration’, according to the aunt.
Narrating the ordeal, the aunt told News24:
“The mother and child were referred to the George Mukhari Hospital by the KT Motubatse clinic in Soshanguve on June 15,” told News24.
“The nurses at the clinic said since the child was struggling to breathe, she should be taken to George Mukhari Hospital to be tested for coronavirus.
“The hospital called in the evening and told the mother that the child was crying and in pain. They later called around 11pm and said the child was now sleeping. The hospital staff called again in the morning and told my sister to come and pick up her child because she had been discharged. The hospital said the child had tested negative for Covid-19.
“I saw that there was something wrong with the child. As the mother was changing the nappy, she discovered some white fluid on her private parts.
“She initially thought it was medication as the child had been in hospital. But the following day, that same whitish fluid was still coming out,” the aunt told local media.
The girl was taken back to the hospital where a nurse reportedly confirmed that there was an indication that the child had been raped at the isolation ward.
Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters told News24 that a rape case has been opened, with the hospital also conducting its own investigation into the incident.
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