Muslims faithful have been instructed to observe their fasting at home following the suspension of religious gatherings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Islamic organisations will conduct regular Ramadan programmes like lectures and fafsir virtually, Daily Trust gathered. Religious scholars in various states of the country told Daily Trust that the prevailing circumstances have necessitated a change of approach and most intend to use the media to reach their adherents.
One of this imams is Kano-based Dr Muhammad Sani Umar Rijiyar Lemu, who said he would not conduct tafsir this year at Masallacin Gwallaga in Bauchi State, however, he said his tafsir would be posted on Facebook and some selected radio stations operating in various states across the federation.
“The decision was taken following the situation we find ourselves regarding the COVID-19. The decision to suspend tafsir was part of the efforts to curtail the spread of the deadly disease among Nigerians,” he said. Sheikh Rijiyar Lemu urged Muslims to always ensure personal hygiene and observe social distancing, embrace hand washing and other advice from the experts.
Meanwhile, the Kano State government has reached an agreement with Islamic clerics on suspension of all types of gathering during Ramadan fasting including tafsir and the famous congregational prayers of taraweeh and tahajjud respectively. The state’s Commissioner for Religious Affairs, Muhammad Tahir Adamu, who made the disclosure shortly after a meeting with leaders of three popular Islamic sects; the Izala, Tijjaniyya and Qadiriyya sects said all three groups agreed to suspend such activities in the state during Ramadan fasting.
Adamu, also revealed that the state would sponsor the broadcast of tafsir of some prominent Islamic scholars during the fasting period. “This will enable people to listen to various tafsir and lectures while staying in their homes. Government will ensure that people did not miss anything as far as tafsir is concerned during Ramadan despite the fact that they are observing the lockdown,” he said.
In Kaduna, renowned scholar, Dr Ahmad Gumi has commenced this year’s Ramadan tafsir from his residence with only a radio crew allowed to record him. Dr. Gumi who has always held his annual Ramadan lecture at the Sultan Bello Mosque in Kaduna said his decision was in accordance with the recommendations of health experts to avoid crowded gatherings and maintain social distancing.
He disclosed to Daily Trust that his Ramadan lecture commenced officially on Tuesday adding that the lectures would be aired on radio stations in the state. He said those who listen to tafsir from their homes are more in number than those who visit the mosque for the lecture yearly and urged other Islamic scholars to follow the preventive guidelines that will stop the spread of coronavirus. “We are also not going to do taraweeh in the Mosque. People will do it in their homes with their family members. When a man prays alongside his wife in congregation at home, it’s all the same and even better to pray taraweeh at home,” Dr. Gumi said. He said he is aware that some members of the Muslim Ummah may be displeased with his decision, he urged them to take the happenings around the world as the will of Allah adding that, “We must pray to Allah at the same time abide by what the health experts say.
If you follow all the precautionary measures and yet become a victim, God willing, you will be rewarded as a martyr but if one goes contrary to the measures, then he should not expect to be rewarded as a martyr. This is because you can’t disobey the Prophet’s Sunnah and be a martyr.”