Muslim community prays against virus

By Marc Membrere 19 March 2020, 4:00AM

Samoa’s Muslim community has begun a five times a day prayer ritual against the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Head of Samoa’s Muslim community, Mohammed  Dr. Daniel Stanley, told Samoa Observer that their members have started to perform prayers five times in a day as well as a night prayer called tahajjud.

“Pray five times a day or more. What is important to us is the tahajjud. That means you wake up some time in the night and pray to Allah,” he said. “We can never stop our worship of God because of a virus or war. In the Quran it is stated that at times of war, one group faces the enemy and the other group come and worship God. After that then this group stands up and goes to face the enemy and the other group comes and worships.”

Mohammed said nothing should get in the way during a time of worship of God.

“Never ever allow anything to interfere with the worship of God. There have been people who were hit with spears and arrows but they still continued their worship.”

Recalling the measles epidemic towards the end of last year, Mohammed said members of the Muslim community in Samoa also fasted for the people during the outbreak and for the public health crisis to end.

“Ever since the measles epidemic, our people have ordered that we must always fast for the people of this country. If anyone in the international community wants to join us then they can join us,” he added. 

“I told them that it is not compulsory but you must do it for the sake of yourself and your family. We cannot force people because they will end up not focusing on it. In our situation we call it a niyyah which means your intentions. Your intentions are very important. When you come to pray, you must have the intention to pray.”

Every year millions of Muslims make a pilgrimage to the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, but Saudi authorities have moved to stop the pilgrimage in a bid to contain the coronavirus.

Mohammed said none of the Muslim community members in Samoa intends to make a pilgrimage at this time. 

“All pilgrimages to Mecca have been suspended because of the coronavirus. No one in the Samoan Muslim Community had planned a pilgrimage during this time,” he said.

But should there be a suspected case amongst members of their church, Mohammed said they will disinfect the mosque, but their worshipping will not stop.

“We might do that if somebody has been diagnosed with the virus here. We will have to disinfect the place but worship will never stop. We cannot live without it because we come from God and we will someday go back to God. We can never forget God,” he added.

By Marc Membrere 19 March 2020, 4:00AM

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