Ummah Movement Mourns Abba Kyari, Calls For  Pro-Active Measures On COVID-19

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Zaria, Kaduna State based Ummah Movement has condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari and others on the death of Mallam Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the President.

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In a statement by Professor  Muhammad Babangida,  National Amir,  the group prayed for the repose of the soul of the  late Chief of Staff who died of coronavirus ( COVID-19 ).

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The Ummah Movement, while expressing alarm at the growing threat of the pandemic in Nigeria called for more actions to stem the tide, stressing that “Our stand is that political, religious or other factors must not be manipulated to the detriment of the welfare and lives of the millions of Nigerians. The value and sanctity of life has been overemphasized  by Islam and is regarded as one of the five central objectives of the Shari’ah or Divine Law (Maqasid al Shari’ah).

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The Muslim association with headquarters at the National Islamic Centre, Zaria,   therefore called on state governors to “take pro-active measures, including the indefinite suspension of congregational prayers, Ramadan public tafsir (reading the Qur’an), tarawih (night) prayers and the I’tikaf (spiritual seclusion) in order to protect the people against the virus.”

Ummah Movement added that it “most strongly respect and uphold the learned position of the Fatwa Committee of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, chaired by Sheikh Sheriff Saleh AlHusseiny and we call upon all Islamic organisations, Ulama and the traditional leaders to abide by the fatwa.”

See the full text of the statement below:

 

CONDOLENCE ON DEATH OF ABBA KYARI; TIME FOR PRO-ACTIVE MEASURES ON COVID-19

 

The Ummah Movement, with headquarters at the National Islamic Centre, Dogarawa, Zaria, Nigeria commiserates with President Muhammadu Buhari, immediate family and friends, the government and people of Borno State and all the good people of Nigeria over the death of the Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abba Kyari. A highly misunderstood man, Kyari was indeed a loyal, dedicated, hardworking gentleman who, in his quiet and unassuming manner made great contributions to the development of Nigeria. May Allah have mercy on him and forgive his shortcoming.

The Ummah Movement is deeply concerned with the escalation of the COVID-19 across various states of Nigeria and the general misconceptions of people about the pandemic and their indifference towards attitudinal measures of containing it such as hand washing, avoiding hand shaking and respecting social distancing. The problem has further been compounded by the poor and non-proactive stance adopted by some state governments in containing it.

Most states, especially in the North, simply made pronouncements of closing their boarders without coordinating a uniform approach of ensuring full and total implementation. It is observed that people still move across boarders of the states, from Lagos to Sokoto and other states with little or no hindrance. Some states have refused to implement total lockdown, due to reasons best known to them, even when it became apparent that it was the most reasonable thing to do, thereby exposing their people to serious danger of uncontrollable spread of the virus.

We are particularly concerned with trends in Kano which sprung within a week to become the third state with the highest number of COVID-19 cases. The lockdown of the state announced by the government should be consolidated for maximum impact, while states like Katsina, Bauchi, Borno and other states that are prone to the pandemic should also take more proactive measures.

While it is noted that the Presidential Task Force (PTF) is actively pursuing its mandate, it however, needs to strengthen its engagement with Islamic organisations and the Ulama in its public enlightenment campaigns and in formulating policies related to patients, janazah (funeral) prayers and burial of dead victims. 2

Our stand is that political, religious or other factors must not be manipulated to the detriment of the welfare and lives of the millions of Nigerians. The value and sanctity of life has been overemphasized  by Islam and is regarded as one of the five central objectives of the Shari’ah or Divine Law (Maqasid al Shari’ah).

Even with the great sanctity accorded to the Ka’abah in Makkah, the second Caliph, Umar bn Khattab considered the sanctity of the life of a believer of higher priority. In essence, we live to pray in the mosque, we do not go to prayers in the mosque to die. The wide and well regulated principle of darurah (necessity) should be put into the proper context in the case of this pandemic, so that ease (Yusr) is given priority for the welfare of Muslims and they should not be subjected to difficulties (Usr, Haraj).

We therefore call upon our State Governors to take pro-active measures, including the indefinite suspension of congregational prayers, Ramadan public tafsir (reading the Qur’an), tarawih (night) prayers and the I’tikaf (spiritual seclusion) in order to protect the people against the virus. In this light, we most strongly respect and uphold the learned position of the Fatwa Committee of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, chaired by Sheikh Sheriff Saleh AlHusseiny and we call upon all Islamic organisations, Ulama and the traditional leaders to abide by the fatwa.

The Ummah reiterates its call upon the Federal and state governments to adopt effective palliative measures, especially in view of the lockdown and the harsh economic conditions in the country. Similarly, wealthy Muslims, in the spirit of Islamic brotherhood and in true reflection of their faith should show gratitude to Allah by extending assistance to their needy brethren and all people in distress. We pray to Allah to bring an end to the pandemic, protect our faith and shower us with His blessings in the month of Ramadan and always.

  • Muhammad Babangida National Amir

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