Amidst COVID-19 pandemic and many uncertainties, we successfully commenced the year 2020 Ramadan Fasting in Nigeria, with the desired cooperation and unison. We are now set to conclude with the most rewarding part of it – Alhamdulillah. Today, Wednesday, 13th May, 2020 marks the twentieth (20th)day of Ramadan, thus its night ushers the start for the search of Laylatul-Qadr (the night of decree and honour) which is sought in the odd nights i.e. 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th of Ramadan. Therefore, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) under the leadership of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, uses this medium, to implore Allah (SWT) to facilitate for us observing the remaining last nine or ten days successfully. May He also strengthen our faith in Him and relieve the world of the current pandemic, particularly our dear country of the difficult and trying moments we are all passing through, arising from the novel COVID-19. Aameen.
Indeed despite the seeming challenges associated with the lockdown being experienced in Nigeria due to the novel COVID-19, we have witnessed reasonable restraint, patience in our lives, servitude and dedication to Allah, the Most High, during the fasting period of Ramadan, hence we must collectively strive more to earn Allah’s forgiveness and mercy in this blessed month.
Nigerian Muslims are called upon to sustain the tempo and to maximize these last days by reciting more of the Glorious Qur’an. More importantly, we should watch out for the Laylatu-lQadr (the Night of Power) which often comes up in one of the five exceptional nights, according to authentic Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). We must use the avenue in increased rendition of the Qur’an not only in understanding it better, but in living in accordance to its tenets. For in the Glorious Qur’an we find total salvation and other good virtues needed for the existence of Man. Therefore, the spirit of observing daily obligatory Salawat (prayers), the Tarawih or Qiyamu-Ramadan (night prayers) should be sustained at home in these very days, until an end to COVID-19 is declared by the relevant authorities.
Similarly, we should pray for all the deceased in this very trying moment of COVID-19 pandemic. As many are still dying on daily basis and yet some of us are heedless about taking the necessary precautions, as advanced by relevant health officials. Government and other relevant agencies must rise to the occasion of sensitizing the populace more. We reiterate our consolation to family members of health workers – who have made sacrifices and are very much at the frontline of the pandemic, as a result of which some of them have lost their precious lives. May they be comforted in the best of manners by Allah, the Most Merciful. Likewise, JNI appreciates most of the Qur’an Mufassiruun(interpreters), as well as Imams for abiding by the earlier directives on Tafsir sessions and Taraweeh prayers. May our worships be accepted Allah. Aameen.
By and large, Muslims are implored to intensify their generosities in giving alms to the poor, the needy and the orphans in the society, especially now that many families are finding it very unbearable, as a result of biting economic challenges bedeviling the country, due to the inherent realities of the pandemic. We must nonetheless pray for its overturn. In the same vein, Muslims are, reminded of the Zakatul-Fitr (Ordained Alms Giving at the end of Ramadan Fast), which is supposed to be given out to the needy in the last three days of Ramadan or in the early hours of the first day of Shawwal i.e the ‘Eid-el-Fitr day, before the commencement of the ‘Eid prayer. In this case that the lockdown will extend beyond such day, taking a cue from the declarations of some state governments, we call on Muslims for further restraint to remain with their family members at home and observe the ‘Eid.
Nonetheless, we reiterate our call to the Muslim faithful to intensify prayers for the Ummah against all manners of misfortunes, relief and succour for the myriads of economic challenges besetting the nation, particularly COVID-19 that has also significantly affected the global economy, without being told we are feeling the brunt. Come what may, we must pray for absolute faith in Allah!
Whilst wishing all Muslim faithful Allah’s pardon in these sacred days and beyond, we pray fervently for His benevolent acceptance of our Ramadan Fast, even as we urge all Muslims never to return to abominable acts after Ramadan. Once again, we say Ramadan Mubarak and happy Eid-el-Fitr in advance.
Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu