The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar lll, has warned Muslims in the country to avoid congregational prayers during the coming Ramadan fast.
Abubakar issued the warning through the Secretary General of the JNI, Dr Khalid Abubakar-Aliyu, in a statement in Kaduna on Monday.
He asked Muslims faithfuls to avoid mosque gatherings and pray at home during the period, adding that this year’s lesser Hajj in the Holy land should also be boycotted because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“It should be made known that all Salawatun-nawafil (optional and non-obligatory 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.
“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.
“Despite the challenges of physical and social distancing, Tafsir and other religious teachings could continue using various information technology platforms, such as Facebook, Skype, YouTube, Zoom, etc., to live stream preaching sessions. Reliable information and communication technology professionals could be consulted for proper guidance,” the statement reads.
The Sultan also called on Muslims to pray for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world and in Nigeria, in particular.