Don’t open places of worship yet, Sheikh Gummi tells FG

Popular Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Gummi has kicked against the reopening of places of worship by the Federal Government.

Tribune Online reports that the Presidential Task Force had earlier stated on Monday that the Federal Government had approved the easing of places of worship.

Reacting to the new directives in a statement he made available to newsmen in Kaduna on Tuesday, the Islamic scholar maintained that as long as the pandemic exists, the reopening of mosques and other places of worship is counter-productive.

Gummi, therefore, advised that places of worship should remain closed until a clean bill has been declared by health professionals.

He said: “It’s in the news today that the FG has ordered for the ‘relaxation of the restrictions on places of worship based on guidelines issued by the PTF and protocols agreed by state governments.’

“We sincerely hope this will silence those unjustly accusing the authorities of trying to destroy Islam (in particular) by preventing congregational prayers in mosques.

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“In Kaduna, we prayed our Eid prayers in a family congregation at home, and yet, I couldn’t see any advantage anyone who prays it in public elsewhere has over us. Alhamdulillah, we have so far come out of it with no casualty recorded. This I cannot say of those who did otherwise.

“Now, in this precarious situation whereby the decision to relax the lockdown is evidently economic and political, is any worshipper obliged Islamically to resume public congregational prayers? Never!

“The pandemic is not yet over and there is still fear and apprehension of getting infected, the Islamic injunction of seclusion still holds.

“Until the contagious phase is over and declared by reputable medical professionals as such, the Islamic ruling remains.

“People should still avoid public contact as much as possible. This is more imperative for those that live with elderly people and children. Children have the ability to be also asymptomatic carriers.

“We call on the authorities to look into reducing the cost of internet data to enable children to continue their education in ease as the case is worldwide, before a permanent solution is found to this pandemic.

“Meanwhile, we should not relent in our prayers and in helping the poor in this pressing time.

“May Allah see us all through this trying period in peace, tranquillity, good health and faith. Amin.”

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