By Muhammad Bashir
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has on Wednesday met with Imams of Kano Friday Mosques to discuss the protocols for 2020 Eid ‘Al-Fitr amid COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued to PRIME TIME NEWS on Wednesday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kano State, Abba Anwar, said that the meeting was aimed at calling on the clerics to comply with the COVID-19 protocols as enunciated by health professionals during the upcoming Eid-Prayer and Friday prayers in Kano.
Present at the meeting were the Deputy Governor, Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, who is the Chairman of the State Task Force on COVID-19, Secretary to the State Government, Commissioners, Professors Abdussalam Nasidi and Abdurrazaq Habib Garba,
including the Chief Imam of Kano, Emeritus Professor Muhammad Sani Zahraddeen, among others. He intimated them with specified protocols, at Coronation Hall, Government House, Kano, Wednesday.
After reminding them the procedures the state government followed, before the coming of the COVID-19 to the state, when congregational Friday prayers were not suspended, up to the time when they were suspended when the first index case was identified in the state, that he consulted Ulamas (Muslim Clerics) before any decision was taken.
“I want assure you that in all the decisions we took we consulted you before taking any decision concerning our religious responsibilities. Just last few days we had a crucial meeting with some of you who are here with other Ulamas. Our decision to re-open Friday Mosques and allow for Eid-Prayer was reached there,” he said.
As given by health experts, he insisted, “People must follow protocols for us to get rid of this global pandemic called COVID-19. That is why we decided to call you and intimate you about these protocols.
We have them written in vernacular, which will be given to people during prayers. And they will be translated into Ajami for general use.”
Part of the protocols handed over to them were, that prayers be conducted within a period of 1 hour, so as to allow people to disperse quickly, who gathered for prayers. The 1 hour includes that of Sermon and the Prayer itself. Packets of face masks were distributed to them also.
“It is necessary for whoever wants to enter into a Mosque or its surrounding to wear a face mask. To protect himself and others. Water and soap will be placed at entrance. Anyone attending must wash his hands. Sanitizer will also be there,” he reveals.
While calling on worshippers to be orderly, the social distancing protocols must also be observed, “…that is why we called you to discuss it with you. To also rub minds on the provisions for that under Islamic jurisprudence,” Ganduje said.
Governor Ganduje appealed to Imams to include in their sermons awareness creation on COVID-19 and its protocols, like the use of face masks, hand washing with soap and running water, use of sanitizer among others.
People were advised by the governor to quickly go back homes after Prayers, hinting that, “The more people abide by the protocols, the more are chances for allowing the continuation of congregational Friday prayers.”
Many Imams who spoke at the meeting conveyed the messages from their people, that they were extremely happy with the decision by the state government to allow for both Eid and Friday prayers.
Malam Lawan Abubakar, the Chief Imam of Triumph Friday Mosque said, “Your Excellency it is allowed in Islam that when a leader does what is good and beneficial to his people, he can be appreciated.
Your Excellency we are conveying the message of appreciation from our people for your kind consideration to allow for both Eid and Friday prayers. May Allah reward you and your lieutenants.”