The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, has appealed to muslims across the country to be law abiding and observe this year’s Eid-ul-Fitri, coming in few days time, following the protocols in their different communities.
The muslim umbrella body in the country made the appeal against the backdrop of the restriction on religious gathering imposed across the country by governments to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
In a statement by its Deputy Secretary General, Prof. Salisu Shehu, the NSCIA said the world was witnessing an unusual times where everything normal had become abnormal.
It cautioned that Eid-ul-Fitri was 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.
The statement reads in part: “Meanwhile, 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 where 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, as Prophet Muhammad said (Buhari and Muslim).
“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.”
NSCIA which is under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, expressed profound thanks to the Almighty Allah for the opportunity of witnessing the glorious month of Ramadan, 1441 A.H.
It said despite the challenges ravaging the world on account of the Coronavirus pandemic, the worst in a century, Muslims still had reasons to thank Allah because every bad situation could be worse.
Said the group: “This is why only those who are thoughtful are grateful and so we are. In appreciating Allah for the privilege of life, health and His innumerable blessings, we beseech Him to forgive our late brethren, especially those we lost in this challenging period, and grant them Al-Jannah Firdaws.
“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. Leadership is trust and the Council acknowledges the trust the Nigerian Muslim ummah have in His Eminence that they will not be led in the wrong direction.”