Maulidu’n Nabiyy in Covid-19 Era, by Musa Nojimudeen

NEWS DIGEST – Maulidu’n-Nabiyy is the anniversary of Prophet Muhammad’s(SAW) birthday. The Prophet (SAW) was the posthumous son of Abdullah Ibn Abdu’l-Muttalib and his mother was Aminah. He was born in Makkah during the era of the Elephant.

The calculated date of birth according to some writers was August 20th (12th Rabiu Awwal) 570 C.E. His grandfather, Abdu’l-Muttalib was the custodian of the Ka’bah. He belonged to the family of Hashim which was the noblest tribe of the Quraish section of the Arabian race and direct descendant of Prophet Ismail (AS),who was the first son of Prophet Ibrahim (AS).

The 12th day of the month of Rabiu’l-Awwal is celebrated annually for the purpose of showcasing the values and virtues of Muhammad (the Praised One). Halimah of the Banu Sa’d nursed and suckled Prophet Muhammad (SAW) for two years.

Upbringing
Upon his birth and during his childhood, some miracles happened as stated in the commentary of Al-Baizawi, Al-Kamalan and Husain. Suratu’l-Sadr (chp 94 vs 1-3) refers to the enlightenment of the Prophet’s heart as a sort of supernatural issue and a miracle, Wherein the Prophet (SAW) was cleaned of the stains of original sin by Angel Jibril.
In his 6th year, the Prophet (SAW) was taken by the mother to Madinah and while returning she died and was buried at Al-Abwa.

He was taken to Makkah by Umm Aiman. His grandfather was the guardian for two years. In 578 C.E., Abdu’l-Muttalib died at the age of 82 years, thereafter his paternal uncle Abu Talib took care of the Prophet (SAW).

As a result of his excellent character, he was called Al-Amin(The Faithful). In his 25th year and through his uncle Abu Talib, he was able to enter the service of a widow Khadijah.She married Muhammad (SAW) for his sincerity and honesty.

They had a awesome and fruitful marriage with 2 sons and 4 daughters. At age 33, he started withdrawing from public view for prayers and concentration at the cave of Hira in Makkah.

Therein, by his 40th year (610 C.E.),Angel Jibril appeared to him and Suratu’l-Alaq(chp 96 vs 1-5) was revealed to the Prophet (SAW).His wife Khadijah was the first person to accept the prophet hood of Muhammad (SAW).

As Islam strive, the Prophet (SAW) was confronted with a lot of persecutions that led to Hijrah to Madinah in 622 C.E.

Other revelations through Angel Jibril were delivered to Muhammad (SAW) and the last revelation came down in Madinah, 81days after the Hajjatu’l-wada, chp 2 v 281 on 632 C.E.(13th Rabiu’l-Awwal 12 A.H.)

Muhammad (SAW) is not the founder of a new religion but of a new covenant. He is the last and most influential of Almighty Allah’s Prophets. It is imperative to note that the virtues and values of the Prophet (SAW) are highlighted in Suratu Muhammad (chp 47 v 2).

COVID-19 ERA.

Covid-19 Pandemic is a great battle not only in Nigeria but in the whole world. Although compared to other continents, Africa has had relatively lower rates of infections, and Case-fatality-ratios (CFR) the fact still remains that the economic damage and social problems created by this pandemic cannot be over emphasised.

In view of the attitude of some members of the public, the generality of the people did not follow the NCDC guidelines, thus the problems continued unabated. Presently, with the reduction in the testing coverage, it’s obvious that we would have to live with the pandemic. However, efforts to contain the spread should not be ignored.

As the global cases surge with over 37 million confirmed cases and over one million fatalities, there is still a long battle ahead.

Despite the relaxation of the lockdown restrictions, the need to observe COVID-19 preventive protocols should be applied religiously. People have to wear a nose mask when stepping out of their home so as to help in slowing down the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

The presumptuous nature of people is fuelling the virus. In view of the High consequence of infectious diseases (HCID), let us help to mitigate the effect of this outbreak.

The Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar advocated the need to follow strictly the Covid-19 precautionary measures in religious outings. This is to ensure the Islamic view of adherence to matters that will make us stay well, healthy and stay safe. These are necessary sacrifice we have to make to stop further spread of Covid-19. Wash hands, Wear masks, let us fight this Covid-19 pandemic together.

We need to work as a global community. Coronavirus does not respect status, wealth, position, race or gender.

If there is no unity in attacking the spread of Covid-19 by all a sundry, then the worst is yet to come. It should be noted that 1 out of 5 cases of Covid-19 has no indication of the virus.

However, it is pertinent to note that in Nigeria, we have a relative ease but the risks remain. What we are experiencing now is a kind of knife-edge success. We cannot serve Allah and be useful to humanity without being alive. Lives come first, therefore let us help to save lives. We should endeavor to mask up whenever we step out of our home for any public outing. There should be no procrastination or prevarication in respect of Covid-19 phenomena.

Over the years, there are different understanding from some scholars as regards Maulidu’n-Nabiyy, in respect of approaches and methodology on the celebration. However the tremendous Islamic knowledge does underscore the nexus of views on the importance of Maulud in this century..

We need to be sensible, responsible and ensure that our Nation is safe. Therefore, we have to be cautious at all times because we are still in a precarious situation and should avoid perilous turning point.

However, the bottom line is that we don’t need an Islamic fiesta for a Maulidu’n-Nabiyy, we have to showcase the Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) teachings and also provide palliatives for the less privilege and masses so as to alleviate their present predicaments.

Sheikh Nojimudeen, an author and Chief Imam of Challenge Central Mosque, Ibadan.