Noah Ebije, Kaduna and Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, suspended Eid prayer in towns and cities across the country in accordance with the guidelines of COVID-19 by observing Eid prayer at home as Muslims mark end of Ramadan fasting this weekend.
He said this becsme necessary in view of serious threat the pandemic posed to life, adding that Ulama should guide against their utterances in the interest of Islam.
A statement issued on behalf of the JNI President-General by its Secretary-General, Sheikh Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, however, advised that states where Muslims were allowed to go to prayer ground, should ensure proper social distancing while praying.
“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 Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, 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 sanitizers be taken to protect worshipers. In this case neighbourhood mosques can be utilised if it becomes necessary,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Federal Government has declared Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 May, 2020 as public holidays to mark 2020 Eid-el-Fitr celebration.
Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, through a statement by the Director Press and Public Relations of the Ministry, Mohammed Manga in Abuja, yesterday.