The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has urged Muslims across the country to pray in their homes during the forthcoming Eld-Fitr festival if that is what the situation requires.
In a statement signed by Professor Salisu Shehu, Deputy Secretary-General, NSCIA, the Sultan gave this advice in view of the current coronavirus pandemic.
The Eid-Fitr festival which represents the end of the one-month of Ramadan fast is to take place on Saturday or Sunday.
During the festival, Muslims observe the two-Rakah Eid-Fitr prayer in large congregation, but many are wondering what the situation will be due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Sultan has however cautioned Muslim faithfuls not to panic but observe the Eld-Fitr prayer in their respective homes on Saturday or Sunday if that is what the situation requires.
He advised Muslims to be law-abiding at all times while praying to Allah fervently.
He said, “The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, expresses profound thanks to the Almighty Allah for the opportunity of witnessing the glorious month of Ramadan, 1441 A.H.
“Despite the challenges ravaging the world on account of the Coronavirus pandemic, the worst in a century, Muslims still have reasons to thank Allah because every bad situation could be worse. This is why only those who are thoughtful are grateful and so we are.
“As the Prophet (SAW) once observed, he who does not appreciate people cannot appreciate Allah (Sunan Abii Daaud). The Council, therefore, thanks the entire Muslim ummah for complying with the given advisory on COVID-19. Except in very few and negligible cases, the reports from all over the Federation indicate that Muslims conduct themselves obediently and adhere to the regulations of the Council regarding the serious situation of the moment.
“As the month of Ramadan is gradually coming to an end and the Eid-ul-fitr is approaching, it is crucial to reiterate that we are living in unusual times when almost everything normal has become abnormal, including social gatherings and large congregational prayers. Therefore, Muslims are enjoined to note that Eid-ul-fitr is not a compulsory religious activity (fard) and at no point should it be observed if doing so will undermine the fundamental purpose of shari’ah: security, a multifaceted concept which includes personal, community, national, environmental and health components, among others.
“Muslims should, therefore, act according to the established protocol in their various communities and locations in Nigeria during the forthcoming Eid-ul-fitr. In places where restrictions have been lifted from congregational prayers, Muslims should observe their Eid prayers while still taking necessary safety measures regarding personal hygiene, facial masks and social distancing. It is even advisable that in such places, massive gatherings at one Eid ground in a big city should be avoided. Rather the Eid could be performed in area-Mosques to avoid unmanageable crowds. However, in places where the ban on large congregational prayers and socio-religious gatherings is still in force, Muslims are directed to be law-abiding while appreciating that intentions supersede actions and actions are judged on the basis of intentions.
“Muslims are advised to be law-abiding in all circumstances while praying to Allah fervently in their various homes, if that is what the situation requires, to forgive our sins and heal the world from destructive and disruptive diseases like Coronavirus. Certainly, people all over the world at large and Nigeria, in particular, are under intense pressure and the sooner the pandemic is over, the better for us all.
Source- Daily Post