AS Muslims all over the world prepare for commencement of the annual Ramadan fast amid spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, His Eminence, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has directed that all congregational activities during the holy month be suspended.
Also, the Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheikh Sulaiman Oluwatoyin Abou-Nolla and other Islamic scholars around the country urged muslims to adhere to the directives, take precautions and limit social gatherings in order to curb spread of the virus.
Recently, Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, the highest religious authority in the kingdom, asserted that prayers during Ramadan, including nightly Tarawih and Eid-il-Fitr prayers, should be performed at home as the pandemic rages on around the world.
Also, Grand Chief Imam of the two mosque, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, wrote on his twitter handle: “The Saudi authorities have decided to hold Tarawih and Tahajjud prayers in the Two Holy Mosques with a few scholars, while continuing to suspend the attendance of worshippers.” He added that authorities had also suspended “Itikaf” – a seclusion where Muslims spend the last ten days of Ramadan in mosques.
NSCIA directives The Muslim apex body, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, directed that social gatherings during the month of Ramadan for public lectures, Tafsir, and It’kaf in the mosques be put on hold so as to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. According to a statement signed by NSCIA Director of Administration, Yusuf Nwoha, the decision was reached after consideration of the report of the Fatwa Committee and the Ad-hoc Committee on COVID-19 under the General Purpose Committee (GPC) of the council.