Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
The Emir of Gwandu and the Chairman, Kebbi State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Muhammadu Iliyasu Bashar, has directed Muslims in the state to observe their Ramadan prayers at home with their families
The Emir, who gave the declaration as a response to the surge of the dreaded coronavirus disease (COVID-19) also announced the suspension of Ramadan congregational prayers and public Tafsir in all Mosques across the state.
This is also in view of the prevailing global situation arising from the pandemic which has spread to most countries of the world.
The Emir made the announcement shortly after meeting with his council.
The monarch said that the suspension of congregational prayers and Tafsir at the mosques is subsequent to the directives of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, under the leadership of Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar, which resolved to suspend congregational Tarawihi prayers (in Mosques).
The Emir, however, added that Friday congregational prayers would continue to be observed according to the directives.
“Imams have been urged to make them short, without holding worshippers for a long time. Likewise, the five (5) daily prayers would continue until otherwise, any contrary directives follow later,” the Emir said.
He added that the Fatwa Councils of the World Islamic Jurisprudence have made several pronouncements about the necessity of self prevention from affliction as much as possible.
The measures, the Emir said, include: Social distancing, non-shaking or hugging, isolation of persons who test positive, refraining from touching or using items belonging to those afflicted and intensification of washing hands as precaution.
In the same vein, he said, medical doctors and other health officials have since been sensitising the public on social distancing, which was one of the major reasons that led to the closure of schools, markets in some places and gatherings which include congregational prayers of Tarawi and public Tafsir, among others.
Bashar reminded Muslims that pandemics and plagues have been a regular historical occurrence.
“In [past] circumstances, it was limited to a section of humanity, of minimal individuals, while at other times, it became a global problem by overwhelming all countries of the world,” he stated.
He also quoted the Hadith of the Holy Prophet which says: “Where pandemic surfaces, anyone within that country should not migrate out of it to another abode, while anybody domiciled outside the territory of its occurrence should not enter the plague area.”