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UMC harps on practice of restrictions of pandemic

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Sec. UNILAG Muslim Woman Association, Alhaja Bola Akindele; The Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Ayede, Oyo State, Dr. Taofeek Adekunle Abdul-Hameed; Prof. Laide Abass; Director General, Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, Prof. Babatunde Lawal Salako; Chairman University of Lagos Muslim Community (UMC), Prof. Lai Olurode and Chief Imam UNILAG Mosque, Dr. Ismail Musa during UMC 16th yearly Ramadan lecture in Lagos.

University of Lagos Muslim Community (UMC) has stressed the need for all hands to be on deck to combat and control the menace of COVID-19.

The group stated that the coronavirus pandemic has affected the Ummah in a variety of ways and it must be combated physically and spiritually.

Speaking during UMC 16th yearly Ramadan lecture, the chairman of the occasion, Director General, Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, Prof. Babatunde Lawal Salako, urged Muslims to take the COVID-19 vaccine to reduce the spread of the virus across communities.

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“When people refuse to be vaccinated, that simply means Nigeria will not reach herd immunity. When we do not reach herd immunity, it means that the infection will raid on and if infection continues to rage, it means people will continue to die.

“If you refuse to take the vaccine you are not only doing a disservice to yourself, you are doing a disservice to the rest of us in the community,” he said.

He condemned the false COVID-19 vaccine claims trending on social media. “In the past, vaccines may take about 10 to 15 years but today technology has changed that, that is why we are able to produce vaccines between one year of the infection and for every new drug, there will be a side effect. There is no perfect drug. In fact all drugs are poison and it should not be taken unless it is absolutely necessary. Even the common paracetamol that we take has side effects, but your chances of living longer is much better than the side effect that you are going to get.

The Chairman of UMC, Prof. Lai Olurode, said the topic of the lecture was chosen by UMC to deepen the diversity of knowledge concerning the controversy about findings of Islam about the pandemic.

The Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Ayede, Oyo State, Dr. Taofeek Adekunle Abdul-Hameed, in his lecture titled ‘Theory and Practice of Containment of Pandemic: Islamic Viewpoint Across Generations,’ said that the world has adopted the Muslim practice of quarantines in the form of lockdown, self-isolation and physical distance noting that such methods of prevention and protection are rooted in the teachings and history of Islam.

“Some precautionary steps highlighted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) such as washing of hands, isolation and travel ban, among others were practiced by Muslims long before establishing WHO. For a devoted Muslim who observes prayer regularly, you must wash your hand at least 15 times in a day.

“WHO isolation preventive method is a common hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). ‘When you are sick, don’t go to another country and when you hear there is epidemic in a country don’t go there, “ he noted.

He added that this is not the first time the world has witnessed a pandemic, noting that COVID-19 is only more severe and deadly than the previous epidemics.

He advised Muslim to always see things from Islamic perspective. “Islam provides Muslim with a code of behavior, ethic and social value that helps faithful to deal with stressful life effects. In Islam, the psychology of managing stress has been provided in the Holy Quran several years ago.”

He said the pandemic has proven to the world that all power and might belong to Almighty Allah and human are nothing,

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“In fact this coronavirus disease has proven to the entire world that we are nothing. Had it been those who claim to have power to heal really have it, they ought to go to the isolation centres to heal those who are infected with the virus”.

He urged Muslims to pray and be patient in the face of the current pandemic.

“Muslims should therefore pray for Allah’s help and protection, and obey Allah, His Prophet, adhere to government instructions The Holy Prophet (SAW) said, if you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague breaks out in a place where you are, do not leave that place.

“It has been widely recognised that preparing for a pandemic is a community effort that we should all take part in to reduce the impact of this virus in our communities and the world.

“The World Health Organisation has also said that it is not the responsibility of the government alone to curtail the spread of COVID 19, it starts from you and I. Once you are able to adhere to those protocols, then you are helping to combat the disease. If you don’t adhere to it, that means you are encouraging the spread of the disease which is against the teaching of Islam.”

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