Eid: MSSNLagos warns Muslims against govs' directives on public worship
The Muslim Students' Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit has urged Muslims not to neglect guidelines put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus as they celebrate the 1441AH Eid-el-Fitri.
The advice was contained in a press statement issued by the Amir (President) of the MSSNLagos, Dr Saheed Ashafa, to congratulate Muslims on their completion of the Ramadan fast.
While acknowledging that this year's Eid came at an unusual time, he appealed to religious leaders to encourage their followers to shun large gatherings.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Emir Alhaji Abubakar Saad, had announced on the termination of 30 days Ramadan fasting and declared Sunday as the first of Shawwal - Eid-el-Fitri.
Ashafa said, "We felicitate with all Muslims across the country on the occasion of this year's Eid-el-Fitr. With the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands have died and millions have been infected and hospitalised. So, being one of those to witness the Sallah in this trying and challenging time is a huge favour from Allah.
"While we pray for the quick recovery of those undergoing treatment for the virus, we must be cautious and magnanimous in our celebration.
"We all should be conscious of the reality of the COVID-19 battle in Nigeria. Therefore, we should not toy with the government directives on precautionary measures even with the ease on the lockdown."
Ashafa also enjoined Muslims to imbibe the lessons of the glorious month and the relevance of the Eid among which are sacrifice, brotherhood, piety.
He also cautioned Muslims against the directives of state governments declaring that Eid prayers can be observed in large numbers despite the ravaging virus.
In such a situation, Ashafa advised that Muslim faithful should only follow the directives of the Ulamas or league/Council of Imams recognised by the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs on the observance of Eid.
He added, "Many scholars have made us realise that Eid prayers can be observed at home, especially because of the situation we have found ourselves. It is baffling how some state governments lifted ban on public worship for the sake of Muslims observing Eid.
"While it is truly a time to celebrate, we must always remember that a strong believer is better than a weak one. We must give priority to our wellbeing and jettison the easing of the ban on religious gathering because it portends a greater danger for us."
Saheed Ashafa (PhD),
Muslim Students' Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit.