The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III has issued a new guideline on I’tikaf (spiritual seclusion) for this year’s Ramadan.
This follow concerns over the I’tikaf for this year’s Ramadan in designated mosques across the country, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 protocols.
The Director of Administration, NSCIA, Arc. Zubairu Haruna Usman-Ugwu, said on Monday, in a statement, that the Sultan enjoins Muslims to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocols in their respective states of residence.
“In states where I’tikaf is permitted, Muslims are allowed to perform it while observing necessary safety measures and where it is not, Muslims are encouraged to refrain from it. Whichever case obtains in one’s state, the directives of state governments and health authorities on COVID-19 should be complied with,” Usman-Ugwu said.
Daily Trust reports that the Sultan in 2020 ordered the suspension of the congregational tarawih (special supererogatory prayer), conduct of tafsir (exegesis of Qur’an) and I’tikaf across the country.
This was due to the then rising cases of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and was also part of the resolution of a 10-man Fatwa Committee’s emergency web-hosted meeting on COVID-19.