The Nigerian chapter of the Jamatu Tabligh has described as unfounded and untrue the reports that its members might have attended the annual Ijtimah (convention) in Malaysia where no fewer than 743 participants reportedly tested positive of Coronavirus.
Several Malaysian media outlets including The New StraitsTimes had earlier reported that the large gathering held in Kuala Lumpur between February 27 to March 1, was attended by 16, 000 participants from dozens of countries including Canada, India, Australia and Nigeria.
The reports sparked uproar on social media with many netizens calling on the authorities and the Muslim community in various mosques to investigate the participation of Nigerians at the convention.
In an exclusive interview with Muslim News, the National Shurah of the Jamaah in Nigeria, Alhaji Ishaq Tijani however debunked the claims, saying no member of the jamaah from Nigeria attended the 2020 Ijtima’h in Malaysia.
According to him, “First it is a lie that Nigerian members of the Jama’ah participated in the Malaysia Ijtimah. Whoever said so should come out with the evidence for his/her claim. It was an untrue statement, mischievously spread by rumour mongers to paint Jamatul Tabligh black”.
Alhaji Tijani otherwise known as Allahu Nur commended Muslim News for going the extra mile to verify the news, saying most of the reports on social media are untrue and exaggerated purposely to malign the jamaah and its activities.
“But, we are not disturbed by their lies because we shall all stand before Allah to account for our deeds. Those behind the lies and speculations without verification should be prepared to defend themselves before Allah. Surely, the liars will not escape the punishment of Allah.
He also called on the Nigerian Muslims to disregard the assumption that his organisation engages in blind tawakkul (trust in God) by staging the convention in disobedience to the Malaysian government.
According to him, Ask them to give you evidence that the organisation disobeyed Malaysian government to stage the event. The truth is that the ijtimah was held between February 27 to March 1 before the Malaysia government banned large gatherings on March 13.
“Go and check the date properly. The Ijtimah was held before the announcement was made. No case of Coronavirus had been recorded in Malaysia when the gathering took place. People are just making false allegations.
“The people saying they know some of our members who attended the Malaysian Ijtimah should speak up. They should mention their names. Nobody can travel without me knowing. Our brethren went to other countries as we usually do but not Malaysia and they have since returned before the ban on mass gatherings in different countries,” he said.
When asked if he is in support of travelling for Khuruj (Islamic propagation) during pandemics, Alhaji Tijani said;
“My response to this is simple. We go back to what the Prophet Muhammad taught us. He said (SAW), if you hear about a plague in a place, don’t go there and those inside should not go out. The Prophet said this more than 1400 years ago.”
– Rasheed Abubakar and Abdul Waheed Shotonwa
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