Muslims in the country have been advised to respect their leaders and stop flouting government ban on inter-state movement to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
They are also advised to live in love and harmony among themselves and their host communities.
The Chief Imam, Enugu Central Mosque, Owerri Road Asata, Saeed Zulqarnaini, made this known in a message to mark Eid-el-Fitri.
Eid-el-Fitri, which means festival of Breaking of the Fast, is celebrated by Muslims annually to mark the end of Ramadan.
During the event, Muslims either pray in the open, often called Eid ground, or in a mosque after which they visit friends and exchange gifts, mainly food, cash to children and other materials, in addition to giving alms to the poor known as Zakat.
However, there was no public celebration of this year’s event in Enugu and in some parts of Nigeria in line with government measures to curb the spread of the ravaging Coronavirus disease as made known by the Chief Imam, Enugu Central Mosque, Saeed Zulquarnaini.
“This is not the first time we are having an epidemic like this, it happened many years before we were born and there is even a consensus among Ulamas, that is Islamic scholars, that one can pray his Eid at home whenever the need arises. So whenever something like this COVID-19 happens, we do worship God in our various houses,” the Chief Imam explained.
The Chief Imam, while reminding Muslim Faithful to put into practice lessons of Ramadan, including praying for leaders, love for one another and repentance from sin, described the disobedience to the government ban on inter-state movement as in-Islam.
According to the Chief Imam, Saeed Zulquarnaini, “the prophet said that if you hear that a country has epidemic, no one should enter there and he said in case you find yourself in the land where epidemic has already covered, don’t go out, remain there. So I see no reason Muslims will go on contradicting this law when they know it’s even Islamic law.”
The 2020 Eid- el- Fitri celebration in Enugu is low key.
Two Muslims, Alhaji Abdul Razak Ahmed and Alhaji Olatunji Salani described the 2020 Eid celebration as very challenging.
Alhaji Ahmed complained that “at the end of the fasting, there is something you give out called Zakat but now people are finding it very difficult to give zakat because most of us don’t have money to do it as directed.”
Similarly, Alhaji Salani lamented that “we find it very difficult because to feed is not easy, no work, nothing, and government did not give us anything but we believe Allah will sustain everyone of us.”
The respondents while advising all citizens to abide by precautionary measures put in place by government and health bodies to end the COVID-19 pandemic, appealed to the Enugu State Government to extend palliative to the Muslim communities in the state.