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Nigerian Muslims Urged to Mark Calm `Eid

As world Muslims prepare to mark a different `Eid Al-Adha, the Sultan of Sokoto has urged Muslims to observe `Eid prayer with calm and decency while maintaining social distancing to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In view of the current situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sultan hereby advises all the District Heads and Imams in Sokoto State, to observe `Eid prayers at their Jumu’at Mosques in their respective towns and villages and not at `Eid grounds,” the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, said in a statement cited by Naira Metrics.

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“Also, the council advises the Muslim communities throughout the country to observe `Eid prayers at Jumu’at mosques to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Sultan, also the the President General Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), added.

`Eid Al-Adha, or “Feast of Sacrifice”, is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations, together with `Eid Al-Fitr.

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Marked on July 31, it begins with special prayers to mark the day. Muslims then offer udhiyah, a ritual that commemorates the great act of sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma`eel.

This year, Saudi cut the number of pilgrims to only 1000 to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Observing 10 Day of Dhul Hijjah

In a statement by Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, secretary general of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), urged Muslims also to mark the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah with prayers and spiritual activities.

“Some of the emphatically recommended acts expected to be performed in these days are Dhikr, recitation of the Glorious Qur’an and frequent recital of Istighfar (seeking Allah’s forgiveness), exclusive obedience to parents, extending kindness to relatives, sharing with the poor and the needy,” JNI said, Legit reported.

“We should also use the opportunity to seek Allah’s forgiveness, adore and worship Him the more, as well as supplicate fervently for an end to the security-economic challenges bedeviling the nation,” it added.

The JNI is an umbrella group for the Nigerian Muslim community. Its headquarters is in the city of Kaduna, and its president is the Sultan of Sokoto.  

Nigeria has the largest Muslim population in the entire region of West Africa.

The CIA Factbook estimates that 50% of Nigerians are Muslims while the BBC estimates this to be slightly over 50%.