Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has alerted Islamic preachers against misleading their followers over Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
This warning was given by the Sultan in a press statement made available to newsmen in Kaduna yesterday through the JNI’s Secretary General, Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu.
According to the statement, “The JNI under the leadership of Sultan of Sokoto, Dr Sa’ad Abubakar, is saddened with the unfortunate developments of misleading the Muslim Ummah by some sections of Ulama (preachers) over the coronavirus prevalence.
“We must as an Ummah avoid a repeat of the current trend in Italy, which was partly due to non-adherence to expert advice over the pandemic.
“Allah, the Most Wise says ‘…So ask those who know if you know not’. “Therefore, we should all bear in mind that knowledge is an Amanah (Trust) and must be safeguarded and delivered as such, thus the need for this statement.”
Sultan noted that the action of some of the clerics clearly depicted their myopic worldview, stark ignorance of genuine knowledge and medical scholarship.
It regretted that the negative actions of such preachers had incited innocent Muslims who are unaware of the serious health implications of the pandemic.
“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.
“It is thus sheer monumental ignorance to falsely claim that the pandemic of the Coronavirus does not exist and that it is a lie and a shadow of a ghost.”
He explained that anyone uttering such lamentable statements “is not worth being called a scholar”.
“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.”
The statement said that the Sultan is urging all Muslims to undertake fasting in this month of Sha’aban, to seek Allah’s help in ending the virus.
It urged health personnel to be cautious while discharging their duties.