Muslims asked to observe I’tikaf at home amid coronavirus
As the Ramadan fast gradually grinds to an end the Chief Imam of the Lekki Central Mosque, Shaykh Ridwan Jamiu has urged Muslims to observe their I’tikaf in their various homes.
I’tikaf is the annual voluntary retreat observed in the last ten days of the Ramadan fast when Muslims are expected to seclude themselves in their various central mosques to seek the night of Majesty described in Qur’an chapter 97.
Speaking with the Guardian in a telephone interview, Imam Jamiu said Muslims must remain law-abiding and continue to comply with the ban imposed on the religious gathering by the Lagos State Government in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
He said Muslims interested in performing I’tikaf should carve out a corner in their various homes and seclude themselves as if they were in the mosque.
The Imam explained that such an exercise is permissible under the principle of necessity in the face of difficulty (Darurat wa mashaqa) as contained in the Shariah.
Shaykh Jamiu explained further that performing I’tikaf at home as a necessity is covered by Qur’an chapter 64 verse 16 where Allah says “Therefore fear Allah as much as you can”.
He added that in the time of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), the children of Israel were also commanded by Allah to pray at home because of Pharaoh’s threat, as reported in Qur’an chapter 10, verse 87.
Meanwhile the Lekki Muslim Ummah (LEMU) has so far spent a total of N6.557 million on the provision of palliatives to needy Nigerians since the Coronavirus pandemic hit the nation.
A statement issued by the LEMU Publicity Secretary, Alhaji AbdulFattah Olajide quoted the LEMU Welfare Secretary, Alhaji Bayo Shonibare as saying that N3.065 million of the total amount was shared to 613 people at N5, 000 each, while about N1million was spent on correctional centres in Lagos, including Kirikiri, Badagry, and Ikoyi.
He said the balance was spent on the purchase of 5kg bags of rice and face mask from which over 3,000 people in ten rural communities in the Lekki environs benefited.
Quite apart from her solo-charity efforts, LEMU has also joined and contributed to the Muslim Coalition Against Covid-19 which is also distributing relief materials across the country.