Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Ahead of the forthcoming Eid al-Adha (Sallah), the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), has asked Muslims to observe the religious exercise, particularly the Eid prayers with caution and strict compliance with to COVID-19 safety protocols.
NSCIA, in a statement released in Abuja, on Sunday, congratulated Muslim Ummah on the auspicious occasion of the 1441AH Eid al-Adha celebrations, and prayed to Allah to grant all the opportunity to witness many more ahead.
NSCIA Deputy Secretary General, Prof. Salisu Shehu, who signed the statement, enjoined Muslims to note that Eid al-Adha 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.
He said: “The steps taken to contain COVID-19, including restrictions in the observance of our cherished religious activities, are in furtherance of the letter and spirit of maqaasid shari’ah. Every discerning Muslim is aware that the prevailing doctrine of necessity due to COVID-19 is not just a Nigerian issue, but global matter of concern.
“As it’s not yet over, Muslims should continue to act according to the established protocol in their various communities and locations during the forthcoming Eid al-Adha.
“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’s even advisable that in such places, massive gatherings at one Eid ground in a big city should be avoided. Rather, the Eid should be performed in area-Mosques to avoid unmanageable crowds.
“But in places where the ban on public 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, as Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said (Buhari and Muslim).”