Friday prayers continue in Maguindanao town amid virus threat

Muslim men in prayer. MindaNews file photo

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 20 March) – Some Muslims in Maguindanao have ignored calls by the Grand Mufti in the Bangsamoro Region to shun Friday prayers in mosques to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Hadji Oping Ampatuan, in his Facebook page Friday, posted a photo of a regular Friday noon prayer (Du’aa) in Shariff Aguak Mosque in Shariff Aguak town.

“This virus is a test, people will die wherever they are if that’s the will of Allah, and if you die because of this virus, that is his will, that is why we should not worried or feared by this virus [sic],” he posted.

“Not all hit by diseases will die. If that time comes to you, you cannot stop it,” he added.

On Thursday, Bangsamoro Grand Mufti Abuhuraira Abdulrahman Udasan issued a statement suspending Friday prayers from March 19 to April 10.

“The Covid-19’s rapid spread (prompted) the Bangsamoro Darul-Iftah to call for the suspension of all congregational prayers…to protect our people from the deadly virus,” Udasan said in his one-page announcement on social media.

Udasan heads the Darul-Ifta’ of the Philippines, an Islamic advisory council which has jurisdiction over the Bangsamoro Region.

Conflicting views could be read on social media. Some opted to heed the call while some insisted that faith is stronger than anything else. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)