The Chief Imam of Lagos Central Mosque, Sheikh Sulaimon Oluwatoyin Abou-Nolla has said that there would be no congregational Jum’ah services across the state today, urging the Muslim community to abide by the government’s directive on suspension of religious gathering.
The respected Islamic scholar made the disclosure in an exclusive interview with Muslim News, on Thursday, calling on Muslims in the State to observe their salat at home and take all COVID-19 precautions.
Lagos, a State with the population of over 14 million has the highest cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria with 7896 infected persons – a figure released by NCDC Thursday, June 18.
According to him, “Mosques are still under lockdown. We are to maintain the status quo. Jum’ah services, five daily prayers and any other physical religious gathering are still not allowed. Let’s all pray at home.
“The governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has issued a directive to that effect, and we are all under him. He is the authority. And this is not affecting the mosques alone, the churches and other religious centers are also affected.
Muslim News had earlier on reported that the Federal Government through the PTF on COVID-19 had on June 2 eased the restrictions on religious gatherings, instructing states to assess their peculiarities in reopening religious places.
At the first instance of reacting to this development, the Lagos State government said religious places should not be open yet. But, after some adequate considerations, it lifted the ban and ordered that mosques and churches should be reopened on June 19 and 21 respectively.
In a new development, the government made a U-turn, saying religious centers should still remain under lock and key in view of the rising cases of Coronavirus in the state.
While advising Muslim faithful, the Chief Imam of Lagos State called for calm and strict adherence to government’s directives and all safety protocols such as regular hand washing with soap, social distancing and the use of nose mask, saying there is nowhere solah cannot be conducted according to Islamic jurisprudence.
He also urged Muslims to be prayerful at these trying times, noting that it is the best option available now.
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