The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has revealed that there will be no Ramadan lecture sessions or congregation prayers in Mosques during this Ramadan.
The Sultan disclosed this in a statement issued by the Secretary-General of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu.
He stressed further that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Ramadan is one with a difference, and, as a result of this, everyone should pray at home with their families, because Muslims cannot afford to be reckless with their lives.
The statement read: “Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) under the leadership of His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, felicitates in advance with the Muslim Ummah on the forthcoming month of Ramadan. Unequivocally, Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an, the month of Du’a (supplication) and Dhikr (Allah’s remembrance), the month of Zakah and Sadaqah (giving poor dues and charity), and the month of Qiyamul-Layl (standing in the night for prayers).
“But due to the overwhelming eruption of the novel COVID-19 pandemic, the Ummah’s enthusiasm needs to be reinvigorated as against what obtains of palpable fear over the pandemic outbreak.
“It should be made known that all Salawatun-nawafil (optional and nonobligatory prayers), including Taraweeh, are originally preferred to be observed at home, even though it is Mustahabb (desirable) to observe it in congregation.
“To sum it up, there will not be the annual Tafsir sessions and no congregational Taraweeh in mosques, until when situation permits. We should therefore pray with our families at home and stay safe.
He, however, noted that despite the challenges of physical and social distancing, Tafsir and other religious teachings could continue using various information technology (IT) platforms, such as Facebook, Skype, YouTube, Zoom, etc., to live stream preaching sessions.
The Sultan added: “It is on this basis that the JNI calls on the Ulama’ to as usual make the fear of Allah their watch word, bearing in mind that knowledge is a trust from Allah and shall be accounted for on the Day of reckoning, thus it should be handled with the utmost caution it deserves.
“Muslims should fervently pray for an end to the myriad challenges bedeviling the world and Nigeria in particular, and to also seek Allah’s interventions for better well-being and prosperity.”
While speaking on the economic effects the lockdown will have on the fasting Muslims, the Sultan called on wealthy Muslims to increase their generosity during the Ramadan and extend hands to those in need, to ameliorate their sufferings by providing them with food and other necessities.
In his words: “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. Our spirit of generosity should be fully activated in higher proportion so as to ameliorate the sufferings of the poor in our midst by providing them with food and other necessities.
“In this regard, the JNI calls upon those who have since planned for this year’s Umrah (lesser pilgrimage), to channel those resources to help the less privileged as the Umrah cannot be possible in the current global pandemic reality.