The Jama’tul Nasril Islam, JNI, has said that there would not be the annual Tafsir or congregational prayers in mosques during this year’s Ramadan due to coronavirus pandemic.
The Secretary-General, JNI, Dr Khalid Aliyu, made the announcement in a statement issued on Monday in Kaduna.
Mr Aliyu, therefore, advised Islamic faithful to pray with their families at home and stay safe.
“This is a Ramadan with a difference as most people will be under lockdown,’’ he said.
The JNI scribe said that in spite of the challenges arising from physical and social distancing, Tafsir and other religious teachings would be held using various information technology (IT) platforms.
He mentioned such platforms as Facebook, Skype, YouTube, Zoom, etc., to live stream preaching sessions.
“Reliable Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professionals will be consulted for proper guidance,” he said.
According to him, JNI under the leadership of His Eminence, Mohammad Abubakar, felicitates in advance with the Muslim Ummah on the forthcoming month of Ramadan.
“Unequivocally, Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an, the month of supplication and Allah’s remembrance, the month of Zakah and giving the poor dues and charity and the month of standing in the night for prayers
“Hence, they (the poor) 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.
“In this regard, the JNI calls upon those who have since planned for this year’s lesser pilgrimage to channel those resources to charity as the Umrah cannot be possible in the current global pandemic reality.
“Expectedly, as role models, we should be seen to be doing exactly like Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), bearing in mind that the month of Ramadan is fast approaching,’’ the JNI Secretary-General said.
Mr Aliyu called on governments at all levels to assist in making life bearable for the downtrodden.
“Due to the overwhelming eruption of the novel COVID-19 pandemic the Ummah’s enthusiasm needs to be reinvigorated as against what obtains of palpable fear over the pandemic outbreak.
“Nevertheless, JNI wishes to re-awaken the collective resolution of the Muslims to fully prepare so as to reap the benefits therein in the blessed month,” he said
According to him, one of the significant aspects of this period is the issue of moon-sighting that has over the years recorded significant improvement and should be sustained.
“Therefore, Muslims are called upon to watch out for the crescent and communicate same to the nearest Muslim authority close by – if sighted, for onward transmission to His Eminence for final announcement after the necessary confirmation.
“Muslims should resolve and make proper plan to intensify efforts in the Tilawah (recitation) of the glorious Qur’an, especially as we observe the stay at home policy,’’ he said.
The JNI also commended philanthropists, captains of industry, and corporate bodies who donated money and relief items to support the federal and some state governments at this critical economic period.
Mr Aliyu said that gesture remained very indelible to the JNI “and we pray that they be compensated accordingly by Allah.’’
He urged Muslims to fervently pray for an end to the myriad challenges bedeviling the world and Nigeria in particular, and to also seek Allah’s interventions for better well-being and prosperity.
“We also pray for our leaders to be well-guided and foresighted, they should equally fear Allah and remember that they will one day account for their respective stewardship.
“As such, they should as a matter of patriotism ensure that they promote equal distribution of resources and maintain peace in all their respective utterances and actions,’’ he said.
JNI, Aliyu said, was using the occasion to appeal to adherents to collectively condemn abuses of extremists in thoughts and actions on any matter, as warned by the Prophet (PBUH),” he said
JNI remains resolute to support, as well as partner relevant agencies, government and other stakeholders in mitigating the adverse effects of the novel COVID-19 in Nigeria.
“We appeal to state governments to synergise and complement each other properly in addressing the spread of the pandemic in Nigeria,’’ the scribe said.
He said the fight against the pandemic by state governments should be unified, adding “surveillance should be thoroughly mounted at states’ borderlines/entry and exit points, with medical checkups where necessary.’’
JNI also commiserated with the federal and state governments, and family members of health workers who made sacrifices and also very much at the frontline of the pandemic leading to some losing their precious lives.