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AfricaCurrent

How Are Muslims in Nigeria Coping with COVID-19?

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AfricaCurrent

How Are Muslims in Nigeria Coping with COVID-19?

As the economic situation bites harder, religious clerics and other opinion-makers are calling for the more affluent members of the society to help the vulnerable financially to cushion the effect of the lockdown. 

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As the economic situation bites harder, religious clerics and other opinion-makers are calling for the more affluent members of the society to help the vulnerable financially to cushion the effect of the lockdown. 

A country that different statistics have rated as one of the most religious in the world has found itself in a situation where neither the Mosque nor the Church can be opened to observe prayers. 

As the number of coronavirus patients soars by the day, the Federal Government had ordered the lockdown of Nigeria’s capital and Lagos, the business hub of West Africa. Many states in the country have followed suit, as part of a series of measures to prevent the spread of the dreaded virus. 

Mosques, churches, markets, and schools have been shut down in most states. This is affecting many Muslims who bared their minds for The Muslim Vibe on how they are coping with the measures and the lessons they have learned. 

Khalid Dankoli, a graduate of Quantity Surveying, says:

The lockdown imposed has affected me and others not just religiously, but in most aspects. As a Muslim, it has hindered me and other Muslims to perform some Islamic rites such as the Friday congregational prayers, ta’alimat, tabligat, du’as and other Islamic activities carried out in congregation which have huge rewards. But of course, these are not obligatory rituals.” 

Contrarily, Hajara Bukar, a student of Mass Communications, says: “Personally it has not affected me much in a negative way, we were told to stay indoors and personally that is my life. I love my space so much so that I will remain in my home for more than a week and thankfully I have everything I need; food, electricity and other essentials. So, I don’t think I am affected negatively by the lockdown.”

Notwithstanding, she believes the pandemic is unfortunate while praying to Allah put an end to it. 

Ammar Muhammad Rajab, a writer and journalist, said the virus is affecting him both socially and economically. 

“Due to the lockdown, it’s hard for me to go out to do my daily activities, which also usually helps me get some money that I spend and help others. And it also prevents me from meeting my friends and relatives due to the fear of coronavirus,” he laments. 

Despite the consequences, most Muslims in Nigeria say the COVID-19 pandemic has taught them many lessons. Moreover, they are using the lockdown period to bring themselves closer to their creator, Allah. 

“Yes, it has. I am closer to my God because what I see this as is how mighty God is and He alone can protect us from what is here”, says Hajara while responding to whether the measures taken by the government in combating the virus are helping in boosting her spiritual morale. 

Similarly, Khalid says:

Well…it shows us as humans that we are nothing. No matter how sophisticated our technological advancements are, we are still weak and helpless. Our hands are tied up without our supreme creator. He is the Supreme Being and Knower of all. To Him we should all turn to.”

Many Muslims are joining online courses for personal development in order to use this period productively. 

“During this lockdown, I have more time more than before. I use the period to pray more, read the Holy Qur’an more, doing some research about my Deen that will develop my faith. I use to teach some pupils that are not more than five their Deen in the night,” says Ammar. 

As the economic situation bites harder, religious clerics and other opinion-makers are calling for the more affluent members of the society to help the vulnerable financially to cushion the effect of the lockdown. 

One thing most Nigerian Muslims share in common now is being optimistic that acting on the orders of medical personnel and sustained prayers to Allah will go a long way in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic to an end. 

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