Celebrate sallah with COVID-19 protocols, Sultan tells Muslims
The President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has congratulated Nigerian Muslim Ummah and the entire Muslim worldwide on the auspicious occasion of the 1441AH Eid al-Adha celebrations, calling for strict compliance with government’s safety measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
Sultan, in a statement signed by the Deputy Secretary-General, NSCIA, Prof. Salisu Shehu, said: “As it is not yet over, Muslims should continue to act according to the established protocol in their various communities and locations in Nigeria 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 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 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),” he stated.
Sultan noted that this year’s Eid is particularly significant as there would be three Khutbahs (sermons) within the span of two days, the Khutbah of ‘Arafat on Thursday, 9th of Dhul-Hiijah, 1441AH, and the khutbahs of Eid and Jumu’ah on Friday, 10th of Dhul-Hijjah, 1441 AH.
“Indeed, these are extraordinary days every Muslim should reflect and maximise the rare opportunities and virtues they present to invoke the mercy of Allah and His blessings,” he said.
Sultan urged Muslims who are not on hajj to fast on the day of ‘Arafat, the 9th day of the month of Dhul-Hijjah, 1441 AH, equivalent to Thursday, 30th July, 2020, while praying fervently to Allah for the forgiveness of sins and healing of the world from all diseases, most especially the destructive coronavirus.
He however, noted: “Muslims are enjoined 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: security, a multifaceted concept which includes personal, communal, national, environmental and health components, among others. This is to say that it is not over until it is over.
On hajj 2020, he said with hajj being suspended for international participants, save for those in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Muslims who had intended hajj but could not actualise their intention to consider using part (if not all) of the funds meant for the pilgrimage for charitable causes that are capable of earning them the reward of hajj and much more.
“For those who are willing to spend on charity but lack the trusted and assured channel to execute such, the NSCIA has a special agency registered solely for implementing social and charity projects – Mission for Education, Socials and Health (MESH),” he stated.