There was an ongoing disagreement between the Sultan of Sokoto and governors of some states in the north over how weekend’s Eid-el-Fitr prayers should be held.
The President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA),Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar has given a directive that Muslims should observe the prayers at home as part of their observance of the COVID-19 protocols and to prevent the spread of the virus.
The directive came after some Governors in the northern Nigeria States like Kano, Bauchi Yobe, Jigawa, Gombe, Borno and Zamfara have eased the lockdown, allowing Muslims to Eid-el-Fitr observe prayers.
The Deputy Secretary-General of NSCIA
Prof. Salisu Shehu in a statement said: “as the month of Ramadan is gradually coming to an end and the Eid-el-fitr is approaching, it is crucial to reiterate that we are living in unusual times when almost everything normal has become abnormal, including social gatherings and large congregational prayers.”
The statement therefore, enjoined Muslims to note that Eid-el-fitr is not a compulsory religious activity (fard) and at no point should it be observed if doing so will undermine the fundamental purpose of Shari’ah: security, a multifaceted concept which includes personal, community, national, environmental and health components, among others.