Engagement of Ulama in Hygiene Awareness and COVID-19

Introduction

Ulama conference for the engagement religious leaders in hygiene awareness and COVID-19 is the planned activity of Hygiene Behavior Change Communication (HBCC) project of IRC. The objective of activity is to involve religious leaders in the awareness complain regarding hygiene promotion and awareness against the COVID-19 Pandemic. Keeping in view the objective of project a session was organized with the Ulama of Village Ghalegay in one of the major Mosque. 12 Ulama from various mosques/Mohallah participated in the session.

Proceedings;

The session was started from the recitation of few verses from the Holy Quran. Mr. Haseeb Khan, District Project Manager IRC-EPS LIFE Project welcomed all the participants and highlighted the objectives the activity. He stated that the hygiene issue is increasing day by day and creating serious health complications for communities. Similarly with the decrease of temperature and start of winter the COVID issue is again arising and according to the experts opinions the second wave of the pandemic shall be more serious than the previous one. Therefore it is the need of the time to aware the general masses about the hygiene issue and expected disaster of COVID pandemic to take precautionary measure for their protection. He requested the Ulama to make these awareness campaign as a part of Jumma sermon to influence people in the light religious teachings

Session 1.

Molvi Iqrar ali sb delivered a dteaild session on the importance of Hygien from Islamic point of view. He stated that Islam places great emphasis on cleanliness and purity, both physically and spiritually. In Islam, in one of his sayings the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has termed cleanliness as half of faith. Islam emphasis on cleanliness and purity, both physically and spiritually. In Islam, spiritual purity is linked to physical cleanliness and purity. More importantly, cleanliness is termed an crucial necessity for faith but is unfortunately, not reflected in our society practically. Serious reflection is required on our individual as well as collective practices in order to make this valuable principle of Islam part of our lives.

He further added that Hygiene does not only means personal hygiene in Islam. Every person is responsible to keep domestic as well as environmental hygiene. There are many verses in the Holy Quran which reflect the importance of cleanliness. For example,

Allah says “…Truly, Allah loves those who turn to him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.

He gave practical examples to explain the situaton of cleanliness in the society. Throwing garbage in the streets, roads or drains has become a common practice in our society. In public places dustbins are seldom found. Even if dustbins are installed, people do not use them properly. Rather, they prefer to throw garbage outside them. It is also observed that people clean their homes and shops and throw the garbage on the street without considering its implications. It is evident that even students of elite schools throw garbage on the ground even in the presence of garbage bins. This shows our attitude towards cleanliness and hygiene. Another habit that is commonly found in our society is spitting openly. People spit paan from running vehicles without considering the pedestrians walking on the road. This practice not only affects the environment but is also an eyesore.

Session 2

Mr. Anwar Ali Molvi sb started delivered his session on awareness against the COVID -19 Pandemic. He stated that Islamic rules over epidemics to protect people from death and sickness go back to the very early stages of the emergence of the monotheistic religion. On many occasions, the Prophet Muhammed advised his companions to value their lives as the utmost importance over death in his numerous sayings (hadiths), urging people to stay away from places where there were pandemics. Our Prophet speaks about the concept of quarantine referring to one of the widely known hadiths. “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,”.

As the Covid-19 outbreak continues to kill tens of thousands of people across the world, the Prophet peace be upon him advice on how to respond to a pandemic offers a motivation to people to stay put in their homes and protect themselves from the deadly virus.

Molvi sb also highlighted precautionary measurement and know how it spreading. He emphasized that abnegation and curing is alright in Islam and everyone in the community need to adopt precautionary measure determined by the government against the pandemic for himself and community.

At the End Qari Iftikhar Ahmad did congregational prayer and Muhammad Haseeb khan (DPM) paid thanks to the Participants and both the speakers for their outstanding sessions and precious time. The Ulama promised for making these teachings as the part of the Jumma sermon in their Mohallah and Mosques.