Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has suspended Eid prayers in outskirts of towns and cities across the country in accordance with the health guidelines against the spread of COVID-19, recommending that Eid prayers be observed at home as Muslims all over the world mark the end of Ramadan fasting this weekend.
The Sultan said the suspension of public prayers is necessary considering the serious threat the pandemic has posed to life, adding that the Ulama should guide against their utterances in the interest of Islam.
In a statement issued Thursday on behalf of the JNI President-General by its Secretary-General, Sheikh Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, Muslims in states where meeting in Eid prayer grounds are not restricted should ensure proper social distancing while praying.
The statement reads:
‘Eid-el-Fitr congregation in the outskirts of towns and cities should be temporarily suspended
‘Ulama should fear Allah, the Most High and be matured enough in guarding their utterances and actions for the overall interest of the DEEN and the Ummah. Nigerian Muslims are therefore called upon to reflect their minds to the good virtues of the month of Ramadan and keep to its teachings all through their respective lives, as the Lord of Ramadan, is still and shall remain The Lord of other months, above all keeps the records of our actions and inactions.
‘More so, Muslims are reminded to keep to the ordinances of the Glorious Qur’an, for the prestige of the Muslim Ummah. JNI wishes all Muslim faithful an accepted Ramadan Fast and successful ‘Eid-el-Fitr.
‘In the same vein, Muslims are urged not to forget the Sitta-Shawwal, i.e the six-days recommended fasting, that follows Ramadan Fasting as recommended by the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). While wishing us all Allah’s pardon in these sacred days and after, we pray fervently for an accepted Ramadan Fasting as well as the Eid.
‘Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), under the leadership of His Eminence, Alhaji (Dr.) Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, Sultan of Sokoto and President-General JNI, in a mandate to the JNI Fatwa Committee, under the leadership of Sheikh Sheriff Ibrahim Saleh Alhusainy, CON, to come up with FATWA regarding the year 2020 ‘Eid-el-Fitr Prayer, and the committee after due consultations, as well as considerations of the current state – COVID-19 pandemic and the serious threat it poses to life, reached the following decisions
‘Eid-el-Fitr congregation in the outskirts of towns and cities should be temporarily suspended.
‘That, the said ‘Eid-el-Fitr Prayer be observed at home with family members or alone in case there isn’t anyone with him or her, at home.
‘However, in states where Governments have reached concrete decisions to observe the ‘Eid-el-Fitr prayer, based on their medical experts’ advice, strictest measures of distancing, face masks and sanitisers be taken to protect worshipers. In this case, neighbourhood mosques can be utilized if it becomes necessary.
‘That the ‘Eid-el-Fitr Prayers is two RAKA’AT. Seven (7) TAKBIRAT to be pronounced in the first RAKA’AT, including the opening TAKBIR. Then SURATUL FATIHA is read and any other SURAH, preferably SURATUL A’ALA.
‘While in the second RAKAH, five (5) TAKBIRAT be pronounced. Then SURATUL FATIHA is read and any other SURAH, preferably SURATUL GHASHIYAH.
‘In the case of praying at home, as it may be, the KHUTBAH(sermon) is suspended.
‘All above mentioned are based on the Hadith of Anas Bn Malik in Sahih al-Bukhari and Maliki School of law decisions, in MUKHTASAR, as explained by Al-Kharshi and Al-Munah al-Jalil.’