The Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC), Nigeria, has stressed the importance of the directive from His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, regarding the need for all Muslims in Nigeria to observe the eid prayer at home alone or with family members only.
In the centre’s Eid el-Fitr message to the Nigerian Muslim Ummah as Muslims globally complete the Ramadan fast, it urged Muslims to strictly adhere to the sultan’s directive.
Meanwhile, MPAC commended them for generally respecting the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Executive Chairman of the centre, Disu Kamor in an Eid el-Fitr message noted that the month of Ramadan is dedicated to fasting, prayers and almsgiving.
Sharing the joy of the blessed month and its festival with all, he noted that the completion of the fast and the blessings of renewed faith that come with it mark a special occasion for observant Muslims who see the grace of God in the midst of the extremely challenging and distressing events around today.
He prayed to Almighty Allah to “grant us His guidance, safeguard our faith, unite our ranks, strengthen our solidarity, heal the sick and afflicted and make the world a prosperous and peaceful place”.
According to him, this year’s Ramadan and its festival are unusual in many respects due to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic.
“Within the year, the world has seen close to 15% of the entire human race in lockdown. Family and extended family members who would normally look forward to dressing up for eid have now been advised to do something unthinkable only a few months ago: to celebrate alone and observe social distancing,” he observed.
Kamor said under the resulting conditions, Muslims generally were unable to fully approximate all the collective rites or worship customary to this period, the most important being tarawih prayers, ithikaf and of course the Eid prayers.
He therefore saluted Muslim compliance, noting, “it was gratifying that despite the pressure, temptations and the spiritual sacrifices, Muslims mostly complied with the stay-at-home-to-stay-safe directive of the Federal and state governments.”
“Similarly, it is most important that the directive of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, regarding the need for all Muslims in Nigeria to observe the eid prayer at home alone or with family members only, be strictly adhered to,” he advised.
According to Kamor, the pandemic has exposed the susceptibility or fragility of mankind to superior forces of nature.
“The concern of everybody especially Muslims at a time like this should be on how to reconfirm the Quranic values of peace, justice, goodness, human fraternity and coexistence and to promote these values everywhere,” he stated.
“It is equally important to promote the spirit of sacrifice and universal mercy, mutual cooperation and culture of tolerance to strenuously deal with a common threat like the pandemic which the world is currently experiencing. These are all important messages of Ramadan, its fasting and its festival.”
MPAC, through Kamor, emphasised that it is time to talk about sustainable development.
“It is time to work for and pursue global peace and harmony. It is time to commit to preserving humanity through a conscious effort and global cooperation. Our conditions now must focus our minds on the important issues of those whose natural environment have become the trouble spots of the world,” he said.
He pleaded that the world must think about the less privileged, the needy, the vulnerable who are mostly worsted by the pandemic because they had been living with the pre-existing conditions of deprivation, inequalities and social injustice.
“As we give thoughts to these, I congratulate all on behalf of the Muslim Public Affairs Centre, MPAC, Nigeria, for witnessing another blessed month of Ramadan and Eid el-Fitr. We wish you and your family a blessed Eid marked by faith, prosperity and joy, and we pray for safety and protection for our nation and globally,” the MPAC chairman added.