JNI, others back Sultan’s pray-at-home directive

The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has backed the position of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), asking Muslims to observe their eid prayer at home due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, on Wednesday, said the Eid-el-Fitr is not a compulsory religious activity (fard), if observing it would undermine the fundamental purpose of Shari’ah.

He listed security, a multifaceted concept which includes personal, community, national, environmental and health components, among others, as reasons for avoiding congregational prayers.

JNI’s Fatwa Committee, in a statement by its Secretary General, Sheikh Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, noted that the restriction will be in states where there is lockdown on eid day, while in the states where movement is relaxed, Muslims can say their prayer at the eid ground.

Also, the Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Sulaimon Abou-Nolla, and Muslim leaders in Delta State have thrown their weight behind the call for Muslims to observe the eid prayers at home.

This, they said, would flatten the curve of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Sheikh Abou-Nolla, at a briefing on Thursday in Lagos, said the present situation does not warrant congregation prayers.

Delta State Information Commissioner Charles Aniagwu said Muslim leaders agreed to celebrate the Sallah at home because of the huge crowd being expected at the eid praying ground.