Skip links

Religious Leaders Speak on Covid-19

As the world battles with COVID-19 pandemic, the need to engage religious leaders in sensitizing their followers on what to do and what not to do in containing the growing novel virus cannot be overemphasized. Nigeria has been tagged as a religious country, and it has followers who listen to the words of their leaders.

On “COVID-19 Awareness Update”, a radio programme running on Wazobia, Arewa and Cool FM in Kano by Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education, Prof. Muhammad Babangida Muhammad of Department of Islamic Studies, Bayero University Kano made it clear that Islam has laid down rules on disease outbreaks. The prophet (SAW) said: “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.”

On bathing and burying those who die from the virus, he advised that thick socks should be used in washing the dead and those who clean the dead should also bath after that and also self – isolate for the required number of days. He advised the gravediggers to avoid sharing digging tools. He strongly discouraged people coming together to sit in the congregation to mourn the dead for days as this is well-practised in Northern Nigeria. Prof. said it is true that when you lose someone, you are in grief and there is a need to be surrounded by loved ones to calm you down, but with COVID-19, that should be avoided. He said the coming together to mourn is more of cultural practice rather than a religious one. Reverend Samuel Adeyemo, the Chairman, Christian Association on Nigeria, Kano said the church is doing all it can to see that Christian fellows obey constituted authorities to stop the spread of COVID-19. He also said churches now hold services in batches to reduce congestion and they are being monitored to ensure that worshippers wear their face masks, wash their hands and observe social distancing.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Leave a comment