JNI urges Islamic clerics to avoid group prayers, sermons during Ramadan

The Jama’atu Nasir Islam (JNI) has advised Islamic scholars and clerics to avoid congregational prayers and sermons during the Ramadan fast, urging Muslims to observe government’s lockdown order to curb spread the COVID-19 in the country.

Secretary-General of JNI, Dr. Khalid Abubaker Aliyu, said this year’s Ramadan was coming with a difference occasioned by the deadly disease ravaging the globe, and as such, Muslims should abide by the precautionary measures against the pandemic.

He explained that due to the novel COVID-19 pandemic, the Ummah’s enthusiasm needed to be bolstered against palpable fear over the outbreak of the disease.

His words: “It should be stressed that all optional and non-obligatory prayers are originally preferred to be observed at home, although it is desirable to observe them in congregations.

“To sum it up, there will not be the annual Tafsir sessions and no congregational Taraweeh in mosques, until the situation permits. We should, therefore, pray with our families at home and stay safe.

“This is a Ramadan with a difference as most people will be under lockdown. Hence, they will certainly be in dire need of assistance, because of the economic realities and the attendant suffocating inflationary trends.”

Meanwhile, as the Muslim Coalition Against COVID-19 concludes logistics arrangements to begin its relief operations, it has mobilised no fewer than 700 health workers for the task.

The coalition comprises 48 Islamic organisations, which gathered to support the government in the fight against coronavirus and provide relief materials to needy Nigerians.

Its Chairman, Publicity Committee, Moshood Wasiu Abiola, yesterday said in the first phase, distribution of relief packages would commence in the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Rivers, Osun, Oyo and Lagos states.

Chairman, Medical Committee, Dr. Salisu Ismail, gave the breakdown of medical and allied professionals as 120 medical doctors, 150 nurses, 100 pharmacists, 100 laboratory scientists, 80 health record officers, 80 environmental health officers, 70 social workers, 50 biomedical engineers and 50 support staff.

Chairman of the Coalition’s Logistic Committee, AbdulRazaq Kilani, said the group would support thousands of families with relief packages, adding that each benefitting family would receive a pack of 22kg of food items containing rice, beans, garri, sugar and salt.

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