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Clerics advise Muslims as Ramadan begins

Ramadan

Ibadan – Sheikh Abdul-Ganiy Abubakry, the Chief Imam of Ibadanland, has said that Ramadan fasting begins on Thursday, April 23.

This is as to check the spread of the coronavirus, Dr Ibrahim Uthman, a lecturer in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan, advised Muslim clerics and their followers to use available technology to conduct and listen to Ramadan lectures and Alhaji AbdulSemiu AbdulHammed, urged muslims to comply with government stay-at-home order during the Ramadan.

Also the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) had ordered  the suspension of annual Tafsir sessions and congregational Tarawih prayers during  the upcoming Ramadan in various mosques to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Ramadan

In a statement, Sheikh Abdul-Ganiy Abubakry signed and made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Ibadan.

Sheikh Abdul-Ganiy Abubakry said the Tarawiy prayer, which preceeds the fasting, holds on Wednesday, April 22, while the first Ramadan fasting holds on Thursday.

“This is to inform the entire Muslim Umah that Tarawiy (Asamu) commences today, Wednesday, April 22 equivalent to Shaban 29th 1441.

“And tomorrow Thursday, April 23 will be the first day of Ramadan 1441. May Allah (SWT) enable us witness more of it in our lives. Observe your Tarawi at home,” the Ibadan Chief Imam said.

Also the Chief Imam of Ife in Osun,  Alhaji AbdulSemiu AbdulHammed, has urged muslims to comply with government stay-at-home order during the Ramadan.

AbdulHammed gave the advice in an interview in Ile-Ife. He said “Coronavirus is a pandemi and real”.

The cleric admonished muslims to take heed to all dos and don’ts prescribed by health personnel and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to combat the pandemic.

According to him, religious leaders should desist from gathering members together for observing congregational prayers during the period.

He observed that this year’s fasting would be quite different from the others in the past because of the pandemic.

AbdulHammed reminded the public of using sanitisers, observe social distancing, covering of the mouth and nose where necessary.

The cleric advised the public to cooperate with the state government and give full support for directives on how to fight the disease.

 To check the spread of the coronavirus, Dr Ibrahim Uthman, advised Muslim clerics and their followers to use available technology to conduct and listen to Ramadan lectures.

Uthman in Ibadan said that conducting Ramadan lectures physically in front of large gatherings would be inimical to efforts put in place to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

He said the coronavirus would not have degenerated into a global pandemic if the world had followed the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.

“The Prophet said if you are in a place and there is an epidemic, don’t go out and if you are outside don’t come in.

“So, if the whole world had followed this simple teaching,  we will not be talking of the pandemic that we now have,” he said.

Uthman said that Muslim scholars all over the world were unanimous on how Muslims should conduct themselves during a pandemic.

Muslims, he said, must understand that since congregation in mosques for the five daily obligatory prayers had been suspended because of the virus, Tarawih and Tafsir also remained suspended.

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He said Tarawih, which is not an obligatory prayer but meritorious to help Muslims build themselves spiritually during Ramadan,  could  be suspended as a congregational prayer while Muslims should pray  individually to avoid large gatherings.

“Scholars should make use of the technologies we have today to disseminate the messages of Allah to people (Tafsir) without going out of their houses.

“Muslims should endure the protocols that have been put in place by government  as well as health officials so that we can all defeat the virus,”Uthman said.

The lecturer also called on government to enforce the protocols on coronavirus regardless of who was  involved so as not to put the lives of people at risk.

The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has ordered the suspension of annual Tafsir sessions and congregational Tarawih prayers during the upcoming Ramadan in various mosques to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19).

The NSCIA gave this directive in a statement by the Director, Administration Mr Yusuf Nwoha, in Abuja.

He said, the decision was reached at the end of stakeholders engagement of the General Purpose Committee meeting of the council in National Mosque, Abuja.

” The General Purpose Committee of the NSCIA under the leadership of its President-General, His Eminence, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, in view of the current COVID-19 pandemic considered the reports of the Fatwa Committee and the Ad-hoc Committee on COVID-19 and observed that.

” Scholars of Islam throughout the world are unanimous that the Prophet of Islam warned against the spread of contagious diseases and urged Muslims to prevent the spread.

” The closure of the two Holy Mosques in the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia for both congregational worship and social functions, which is applauded by Islamic Scholars throughout the world, is a pointer to its compliance to the Prophetic teachings on the subject matter” he said.

He noted that, one of the obligatory religious activity such as the weekly friday prayers was suspended as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus among muslims.

”Jum’ah, as an obligatory religious activity, which is temporarily suspended to prevent the spread of COVID 19 outweighs the performance of any meritorious religious act such as congregational Tarawih and the conduct of Tafsir.

”Consequently, the Council directs that congregational Tarawih in the Mosque and the va1rious Majalis Tafsir (sessions) and I’tikaf during the month of Ramadan of 1441 A.H be suspended.

” Individual Scholars and Organisations are therefore encouraged to employ available means of disseminating information such as radio, television, other virtual facilities, print, social and traditional media for dissemination of tafsir and other da’awah activities” he said

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