University of Lagos Muslim Community (UMC) has argued that all hands must 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’s 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.
“When people refuse to be vaccinated, that simply means that Nigeria will not reach herd immunity. When we do not reach herd immunity, it means that the infection will continue to raid on and if an infection continues to raid on, 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 trailing on social media.
“In the past, vaccines may take about 10 to 15 years but today technology has changed that, that is why we can produce vaccines between one year of the infection and for every new drug there will be a side effect there is no perfect drug.
“All drugs are poison and they 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 are much better than the side effect that you are going to get,” he added.
The Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Ayede, Oyo State, Dr. Taofeek Adekunle Abdul-Hameed, while delivering a lecture on ‘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 the washing of hands, isolation, travel ban and 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 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 an epidemic in a country don’t go there.’
He added that this is not the first time the world has witnessed a pandemic.
According to him, “Between 1918 and 2021, seven major pandemics were witnessed by the world. The first one is the 1918 flu pandemic, the second one is the 1957 flu pandemic, the third is the 1968 flu pandemic classified by various viruses, the fourth one is between 2002/2003 SARS, a viral Pneumonia epidemic that claimed the life of 800 people worldwide and the fifth is the swine flu 2012 to 2013, followed by Ebola disease in 2014 and apparently what we are having is Covid-19 which is more severe and deadly than the previous epidemics”.
He advised Muslims to always see things from an Islamic perspective.
“Islam provides Muslims with a code of behavior, ethic and social value that help in tolerating and developing adopting coping strategy to deal with stressful life effect. In Islam, the psychology of managing stress has been provided in the Holy Quran several years ago.”
He said the pandemic proves to the world that all power and might belong to Almighty Allah and humans are nothing,
“In fact, this coronavirus disease has proven to the entire world that we are nothing. Had it been those that said they have the power to heal have power, they ought to go to the isolation center 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 while you are in it, 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 Chairman of UMC, Prof. Lai Olurode said the topic of the lecture was chosen by UMC to further dipping on the diversity of knowledge concerning the nagging controversy about the findings of Islam about the pandemic.
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