ISLAMABAD                -             The Council of Islamic Ideology Pakistan on Thursday said that no specific religious sect or group – such as the Tablighi Jamaat or Shia pilgrims - can be blamed for the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

In the media briefing after the emergency meeting CII Chairman Qibla Ayaz said that administrative and individual mistakes in the entire issue must be addressed, entire communities cannot be blamed.

Dr Qibla Ayaz also urged the world to pay attention to the plight of the people of occupied Kashmir during the pandemic, all their rights must be restored which have been seized by the Modi government.

He further stated that the decisions of the government regarding the curtailment of religious and social gatherings were supported by the CII as it was the need of the time, and that Islam also gives great importance to taking measures for saving human lives during any pandemic.

He further hoped that the masses will practice the social distancing and will offer their prayers at homes by following the instructions of the government, the directives of health experts and the 25th March declaration of the Ulema which announced guidelines for the people.

He elaborated that any negative perception regarding the lockdown of the mosques should not be portrayed.  He urged the people to follow the maximum limit of worshipers per mosque as announced by the government.

On the other hand he also advised the government to get the support of the worshipers instead of arresting them. He announced that the struggle and hard work of all health experts, global research organizations, and scientists for finding any solution to the virus and invention of any vaccine was greatly lauded and appreciated by the CII; adding that all their hard work was for the service of humanity.

Qibla Ayaz in his media talk said that the religious minorities that are facing economic issues due to this pandemic must not be ignored; adding that the people who have saved money for Ummrah or Hajj should donate their money to such minorities.

He urged that the common people, civil society and the government should work jointly beyond the concept of religion and should support and help the people affected by this virus in the country. He suggested that mosques must be made community centers in order to help people who have been badly affected.

While talking about the burial arrangements for coronavirus fatalities, he said the government should take up most of the responsibility for the bath and burial of the dead body; adding that word ‘Halak’ should not be used for the person who has died from the virus. He said that ‘Shaheed’ was a more appropriate word.

He further said that the relatives of the deceased person should be allowed for the congregational prayer of the person and social distancing should be applied during the burial ceremony. In his last comments he urged the government to take prompt measures for the Pakistanis stranded outside the country.

Meanwhile, Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology, Dr Qibla Ayaz urged the people to avoid going to mosques and offer Jumma prayer at home under prevailing situation.

He said those who died due to coronavirus should be termed as “Shaheed” or ‘Jaanbahaq.’ He further said that mosques can be used as community centres to raise awareness about Coronavirus.

The Chairman CII opined that relatives should be allowed to attend the funeral prayers of those who died due to coronavirus. He urged the people to avoid panicking and adopt all precautionary measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus.