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Stay at home, strengthen family bond, NASFAT urges Nigerians

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Nasrul Lahi-L-Fatih Society (NASFAT) has advised individuals to make productive use of the stay at the home policy to strengthen the family bond, observe prayer congregation with family members and read the holy Qur’an.

The Chief Missioner of NASFAT, Imam Mahroof Abdulazeez Onike, who made this call, also urged the state and the federal government to provide practical support to those who are affected by COVID-19.

He said the organisation is determined to partner with government and other stakeholders to ensure improved livelihood for members, especially at this trying time.

Among the intervention initiatives lined up by the organization to tackle the biting social and financial pains occasioned by the lock are:
Provision of food items worth between 10,000 and 15,000 Naira or its cash equivalent to its vulnerable members such as the aged, the sick, widows, Imams, labourers and others on monthly basis till the end of this pandemic; community mobilisation using multiple media platforms, like the print, electronic, social/online media to educate and enlighten the public on preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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He also urged governments to make provision of professional counseling services to those who are in distress including those whose breadwinner is in isolation, quarantine or under Medicare.

He suggested that indigenous language should be used to sensitise the public on preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the occurrence of plagues, pandemics, epidemics, endemics happen by divine decree of Almighty Allah (SWT), saying: “Plagues and pandemics are also not strange to human history. Some companions of our noble prophet experienced it” he said.

He condemned the claim that coronavirus pandemic outbreak was due to sin.

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“It is therefore not right to say emphatically that, it was due to our sin. The belief by Muslims on pandemic being divine may be a bitter pill to swallow by those who are seemingly irreligious, and they may be quick to ask ‘why should God who claims to be merciful seems to be causing pandemonium and uneasiness in the world’.

“The question would certainly not sound strange either. Literature abounds with many exposes on that topic. According to Lee strobel ‘If you could ask God only one question, and you knew He would give you an answer, what would you ask?’ The most common question was, ‘Why is there pain and suffering in the world?’ (Mohammad Elshinawy)

He said Muslims believe that in reality, life in the Divine plan is an uphill climb for the human being, whereby he or she ascends to greatness by traversing the thorny path and struggling against human weakness.

“Moreover, life is transient, reducing our existence to this earthly life alone is what negatively amplifies our perception of life’s unfair moments.

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He urged Nigerians to accept the fact that, social distancing, lockdown and contact-curtailing measures introduced by the government are in their interest.

“According to Islamic traditions, the measures have scriptural references.
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas narrates the events when ‘Umar ibn AlKhattab set out for Sham (Levant: Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, etc). When he got as far as a place called ‘Sargh’, the commanders of the army, Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn Jarrah and his companions met ‘Umar and told him that a plague had broken out in Sham. Umar asked people to turn back, when he was challenged by Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn Jarrah who said ‘Are you fleeing from the decree of Allah?’ ‘Umar said, ‘If only someone other than you had said that, Abu ‘Ubaydah!’

“Yes, ‘we are fleeing from the decree of Allah to the decree of Allah‘, it was the intervention of Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf who related what he had heard from the Noble Prophet that further lent credence to Umar's position. The former said he heard the prophet saying ‘When you hear that [a plague] is in a land, do not go to it and if it occurs in a land that you are already in, then do not leave it, fleeing from it’.This position aligns perfectly with the border closure and lockdown directive of the Nigerian Government”.

He advised Muslims to obey government directives and adhere to advices from health workers.

“ Nevertheless, in spite of the current challenges, I want to reassure that, there would soon be light at the end of the tunnel by the grace of Allah.

“This optimism is buoyed by the gladdening news that, in the last 6 days, the city of WUHAN in China where the dreaded virus started its menace has not witnessed any new infection. If Allah did it in Wuhan, He shall do it all over the world!

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