MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has stressed ulema and prayer leaders to boost the morale of people in the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak to make "the crusade against the pandemic a success".
"The ulema should keep watch on the elements issuing unauthorised edicts to create dissension among the masses and harming the inter-sect unity of Muslims," he said while meeting a delegation of ulema from different school of thoughts at the Aiwan-e-Sadr in Muzaffarabad on Thursday.
President Masood said that the virus had also attracted the attention of the western intellectuals towards the golden Islamic principles and they are stressing to follow them. Therefore, he maintained, the "ulema should take its advantage and present the real Islamic teachings across the world".
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He appealed to religious clerics to maintain interfaith harmony in the state and motivate philanthropists and well-off people to support the poor and vulnerable communities through Zakat, charity and donations.
"Along with discouraging the blame game against other religious parties and school of thoughts clerics, they [ulema] should guide the people in the light of golden principles of Islam and Shariah and as per directives of medical experts."
The president also said that the people should be apprised of the significance of both physical and spiritual purity, frequent exercise of hand-washing, social distancing, proper distance with others during prayer in the mosques and adopting other precautionary measures to prevent the spread of contagious disease.
Citing a recent report published in a leading US journal Newsweek, he said that renowned US intellectual and Professor Dr Craig Considine of the Rice University pointed out that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had narrated 1,400 years ago all the precautionary measures the world is adopting today to prevent the pandemics. "The way the world is attracting towards purity, suggests that the whole of mankind would become physically pure before the pandemic is controlled."
President Masood said that although the Azad Kashmir government has not imposed any restrictions on the five-time prayers in mosques and Traweeh prayers during Ramazan, the "ulema must ensure compliance with the directives of medical experts in letter and spirit".
While condemning the Indian government for blaming Tableeghi Jamaat for spreading coronavirus, he asked that why Covid-19 did not spread due to hundreds of Hindu festivals held across India with the participation of millions of people during the same period?
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“The Indian rulers have come up with the gimmick to divert attention from the situation created by a virus and the failure of the Indian government to contain it."
About the situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K), he said that our brethren in the disputed territory are fighting both "Modivirus" and coronavirus. "The Indian government has no strategy to respond to coronavirus in IOJK."
Thousands of Kashmiri people detained in the Indian prisons have been exposed to the deadly virus, he added.
On this occasion, the ulema stressed that implementation of the Islamic teachings in letter and spirit alone was a panacea to curb the pandemic. The Muslims should avoid dishonesty, hoarding, profiteering and other evils, and beg mercy from Almighty Allah, they added.
The delegation under the leadership of the Secretary Religious Affairs Sardar Javed Ayub included Mufti Mehmoodul Hassan Ashraf, Maulana Syed Ghulam Yasin Shah, Maulana Zahid Asri, Maulana Mohammad Altaf Safi, Prof. Qazi Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, Maulana Danyal Shahab, Maulana Mufti Mohammad Ibrahim Aziz, Maulana Farid Abbas Naqvi and Maulana Nazir Qadri.