The Sultan of Sokoto and President General, Jama’atu Nasril Islam, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar lll, expressed anger over the attitude of some Muslim clerics for misleading their followers over the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in the country.
The sultan, who is also the spiritual leader of Muslims in Nigeria, was particularly sad that some Muslim clerics were going against measures put in place to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 across the land.
He condemned the attitudes of the clerics, warning that the coronavirus was real and that adequate precautionary measures must be adhered to.
The leader of Izalatu Islamic sect in Plateau State, Sheikh Sani Yahaya Jingir, had in a preaching told his followers that there was nothing like the deadly coronavirus ravaging the world.
Jingir had said it was a western conspiracy to stop Muslims from performing their religious rites, noting that the virus was a lie.
The sect leader had stated this during a sermon on an Izala TV, monitored in Kaduna penultimate Tuesday.
Apart from that, two Islamic clerics were caught while conducting the Friday congregational prayers in Malali and Ungwan Kanawa areas, all in the Kaduna North Local Government of the state.
This was despite the curfew imposed on the state by the Kaduna State Government to tackle the spread of COVID-19.
The Sultan chastised the Muslim clerics, urging them to desist from misleading the Muslim community on the deadly virus.
The Sultan described the attitude of some of the Islamic clerics as unfortunate and myopic.
He noted that it was sheer ignorance for any Islamic cleric to claim there was nothing like coronavirus currently ravaging the entire world.
The Sultan, who spoke through the JNI Secretary General, Dr Abubakar Khalid-Aliyu, in a statement, also warned that the Muslim ummah (community) must never allow a repeat of what happened in Italy in Nigeria.
The statement read in part, “Jama’atu Nasril Islam under the leadership of His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, JNI, is once again saddened with the recent unfortunate developments of misleading the Muslim Ummah (Community) 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” Q16:43. 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.
“One may not be wrong to conclude that the action of some of the ‘Ulama clearly depicts sheer whims and caprices of their myopic worldview, stark ignorance of reality based on genuine knowledge and medical scholarship.
“It is, however, regrettable that as the negative actions of such preachers incite innocent Muslims, who are unaware of the serious health implications of adhering to such empty dispositions that invariably endanger humanity. 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. Such lamentable utterances leave much to be desired by any scholar that is worth being called a scholar. Moreover, the matter is a documented fact whose medical precedents have been set in curbing its tide in human history.
“Therefore, the current position of government is not a new standpoint to curtail the spread of the infection. Rather, new methods of mitigating it and nipping it in the bud emerged in this contemporary world we live in, as a result of scholarly findings.”