Ulema ask public to follow virus protocol

Updated 16 Mar 2020

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“It is required that everyone should take precautionary measures against this pandemic," says statement from PUC. — Dawn/File
“It is required that everyone should take precautionary measures against this pandemic," says statement from PUC. — Dawn/File

LAHORE: The Darul Afta Pakistan, Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) and leadership of Wafaq-ul-Masajid, Madaris-e-Pakistan have unanimously asked the public to take precautions against coronavirus as per government’s directions as these are in accordance with the teachings of Shariah.

The PUC leadership and leading religious scholars, including Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, Maulana Asad Zikriya, Allama Abdul Haq Mujahid, Maulana Rafiq Jaami and others in a joint statement issued on Saturday warned that coronavirus had turned into a pandemic and affecting the entire world.

“It is required that everyone should take precautionary measures to stay safe against this pandemic. Being Muslim, we should learn to have trust in Allah but we should also learn to take precautionary measures,” the statement said.

Quoting a hadith, the clerics said, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had said if plague spread in an area, one should neither be allowed to leave it nor the outsiders should be allowed there.

The PUC stated that taking precautions against such diseases was also a requirement of Shariah and that the instructions issued by the government and the health ministry should be followed by public as these were in accordance with it (Shariah).

The religious scholars warned that coronavirus could be very active in bigger gatherings; therefore, the government had banned weddings in banquet halls. However, they said, limited wedding events could be arranged at home by the respective families. They also endorsed closure of schools and seminaries.

The Muftis of Darul Afta Pakistan also urged the public to say Sunnah prayers at home and go to the mosques only to say Farz prayers. The people were also urged to perform Wudu (ablution) at home. They also asked prayer leaders to shorten Juma prayers as well as daily prayers.

They said in case of coronavirus spread on a larger scale people should abstain from handshakes.

They advised the public to seek forgiveness and recite Ayate Karima, besides doing charity.

Published in Dawn, March 16th, 2020