While the end of Ramadan fasting draws near, Muslims in the South West has been advised on how to celebrate this year Eid-Fitri amidst the global pandemic.
Naija News understands that Muslims all over the nation are supposed to celebrate 2020 Eid Fitri in the coming weekend, between Saturday or Sunday.
However, due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria as also affected by other countries of the world, Eid Fitr prayer which usually marks the end of the month of Ramadan may not be observed this year to avoid the spread of the dreadful disease.
Speaking on the way forward on the Eid Fitri prayer in the South West region, the Muslim Ummah of Southwest Nigeria (MUSWEN), in a recent statement made available to newsmen noted that this year Eid-Fitri prayer may be avoided for the safety of lives of its members and as a precaution to the spread of the killer virus, COVID-19.
According to MUSWEN, it was not likely that the Eid-Fitri prayer would be observed due to the social distancing order issued by the governments in the South West region as a result of the viral disease.
Naija News understands that MUSWEN is worried that the COVID-19 lockdown regulation may not be relaxed to allow for Eid day.
However, the South West Muslims has been advised by the Executive Secretary of the MUSWEN, Prof. Muslih Tayo Yahya, to be on the lookout for the rise of the Shawwal at Maghrib hour on May 22.
This online news platform understands that this Friday marks the 29th day of the Ramadan 1441, and the following day marks the Eid-Fitri after sighting of the Shawwal moon.
Muslims in the South West region has been asked to reach out to the following numbers should anyone sight the moon: 08033579545 or 08096898432.
MUSWEN also warned that Muslims in the region should wait patiently for an official announcement on when to celebrate the Eid by the President-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs.
“The leadership and Management of MUSWEN and the entirety of the Ummah in the South West of Nigeria join the President-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, in felicitating with the entire Ummah of Islam in Nigeria and all over the world on the approach of Eid-el-Fitri marking the end of Ramadan 1441,” said Yahya.
The statement further reads: “Indeed the Ramadan of this year has been extremely challenging for the Ummah. It has been the will of Allah to test how resolute and determined we can be in seeking to reach one another as one Ummah and try to please Him, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala as our Creator. A reflection over the circumstances and the atmosphere of the COVID-19 pandemic would show that the Ummah has a great deal of reasons to thank Allah for His mercy. Therefore, we have every reason to celebrate the Eid to the best of our ability, but with a great deal of caution and vigilance, and with Eman (faith) and Taqwa (being mindful of Allah). We beseech Him SWT, to overlook our human inadequacies and have more mercy on us.”
“In the light of all this, MUSWEN wishes to issue the following guidelines and make some observations: Muslims in the South West should join the rest of the Ummah in Nigeria in looking out for the crescent of Shawwal shortly before Maghrib of Friday 29th Ramadan 1441, equivalent to 22nd May 2020, communicate any sighting to MUSWEN on 08033579545 or 08096898432 but wait patiently for a formal announcement of the exact day of Eid by the President-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs.”
Yahya quotes: Allah says, “And hold fast to the rope of Allah, all of you together, and be not disunited….” (Qur’an 3:103)”
“From the look of things, it is not likely that the current social distancing regulations put in place by governments in the States in the South West of Nigeria, necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic would be relaxed by Eid day, consequently it is not likely that observance of Eid prayers at the Eid Prayer grounds would be possible.”
“However all Muslims are urged to put on their best dresses on the Eid day as recommended by authentic traditions of the Prophet (SAW), but STAY SAFELY AT HOME marking the Eid day with the family, in view of the movement restrictions necessitated by the pandemic. On the eve of the Eid day or after the Fajir prayer of the Eid Day and shortly before the usual time for the Eid Prayer, Zakat el-Fitri is expected to be given out to the poor on behalf of EVERY member of the family, from infant to the oldest person, male or female. The measure of Zakat el-Fitr per person is four measures of the “mudun-Nabiy” (the Prophetic measure) which has been approximated to about 14 usual milk-tins known in most markets of South-West Nigeria, in grains popular for food in the area such as rice, beans, maize and millet or other staple food item such as gari. Rice and gari, however, seem to have a great deal of acceptance in South West Nigeria.”
“Similarly, although food items as mentioned above are preferable, some scholars have no objection to monetization, if one calculates the monetary value of the measures of the various items mentioned above. For example, from the current market value of Rice, in most markets the sum of about N700 (seven hundred Naira only) is calculated as the monetary equivalent to be given out for Zakat el-Fitri per person in the South West of Nigeria this year.
“After giving out the Zakat el-Fitr, it is not forbidden for an individual or the family to observe at home the two-Rak’ah Nafl (supererogatory) Eid prayer in the following manner, excluding only the Khutbah (sermon): For the first Rak’ah, begin with Takbirat al-Ihram, i.e. the initial pronouncement of Allahu akbar, follow by a repetition of same takbir six times, to make seven in all. Recite Surat al-Fatihah (Chapter 1 of the Qur’an) followed preferably with Surat al-A’laa (Chapter 87 of the Qur’an), or any other Surah which the worshipper can conveniently recite. Proceed to ruku’u and follow normal process of the raka’ah up to the second sujuud (prostration).
“For the second Rak’ah, rise from the second prostration of the first raka’ah with Takbir Allahu akbar till fully standing, then repeat the takbir five more times to make six in all. Recite Surah al-Fatiha, followed preferably with Surah al-Ghashiyah or any other Surah that the worshipper can recite conveniently. Proceed to ruku’u and follow normal process of the raka’ah up to the second prostration. Rise from prostration to the sitting position and recite the at-Tashshud, then the taslim (Assalam alaikum wa rahmatullah…) marking the end of the prayer. We ask Allah to preserve us to witness many more months of Ramadan in better conditions”.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, on Wednesday night confirmed two hundred and eighty-four new cases of Coronavirus in Nigeria.