A renowned Islamic Scholar, Dr Abubakr Imam Aliagan, has warned the President Muhammadu Buhari government, the Sultanate Council and Muslim authorities, not to shut down mosques in Nigeria over coronavirus.
Aliagan is a Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN).
He spoke on Wednesday while reacting to the suspension of congregational prayers at Saudi Arabia, DailyTrust reports.
Saudi had on Tuesday stopped the performance of the customary five daily prayers and the weekly Jumu’ah (Friday) prayer at other worship centres excluding the two holy mosques in Makkah and Madina.
But Aliagan told PRNigeria that Nigerian Muslim males should be allowed to observe their compulsory prayers in mosques.
He claimed that Muslims have already been endowed with a natural immune system to fight coronavirus.
Aliagan stated that health officials advise people to wash their hands which Muslims do five times daily before observing their obligatory prayers.
“Again, our sisters are always adorned in Hijab, some even use Niqab and gloves. So, we the Muslims already have a potent immune system against coronavirus. That is to say that we don’t have any problem.
“Even in France, I learnt that those that are completely free from contacting coronavirus are Muslim ladies and women who cover their face, use hand gloves and don’t shake hands with people,” he said.
The cleric, who is also an Imam of a Jumuat (congregation) Mosque, noted that the action of the Saudi Government is in line with Islamic teachings on preventing the spread of an epidemic in any area.
He said the Holy Prophet specifically mentioned that if there is an epidemic at a certain location, people should not go close to that danger area or place.
“While those that are living there should not come out until the epidemic is wiped out. The prophet, by implication, is saying we should avoid the spread of epidemics with necessary precautionary steps.”
Aliagan argued that the Saudi authorities’ directive is only aimed at forestalling the wildfire spread of the disease.
“I don’t think the Muslim Ummah and its authorities in Nigeria should toe the line of Saudi by banning congregational prayers in mosques.
“The situation in our country is quite different from what we have in the Arab world or even in some western countries. The killer scourge easily ravages their immune system and body. However, I am still saying we should go along with what the Prophet counselled.
“Which is that we should not take epidemics or any killer disease for granted. We should take all the necessary precautions. Any advice from health officials should strongly be adhered to and abided by,” Dr Aliagan added.