24th April, 2020
COVID-19 RAMADAN: EXTEND CHARITY TO ALL
The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, yesterday announced the sighting of the moon signaling the commencement of this year 2020 (1441AH) Ramadan.
In its Ramadan message, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has sent fraternal greetings to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Sultan of Sokoto and all Muslims in the country on the occasion of the beginning of Ramadan. The Islamic human rights organization said there was every reason for Nigerians to thank Allah for being alive at this trying period. It appealed to Muslims to extend its Ramadan feeding and other charity programmes to people of all faiths.
This was revealed in a Ramadan message circulated to pressmen on Friday, 24th April, 2020 by the group’s director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The director said, “We felicitate with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Sultan of Sokoto and all Muslims in Nigeria on the advent of 2020 Ramadan and we pray that we will witness many more on earth. We call on all Nigerians to show gratitude to Allah for being alive at this trying period.
“Ramadan 2020 has coincided with COVID-19 which is a global health challenge that has defied all solutions. It has heralded death in its thousands and has rendered the global economy asunder. Hunger and starvation stare mankind in the face. Therefore, Nigerian Muslims have the responsibility to extend their feeding and other charity programmes to Christians, traditionalists and people of all faiths. COVID-19 is a leveler. It has equated fasting Muslims with hungry non-Muslims. Nigerians are battling with two viruses: Corona virus and hunger virus.
“We are all fasting. We are all in the Ramadan season, a season of hope, mercy and forgiveness. Therefore, nurse no malice towards any human being no matter his religious or tribal background so that your fasts may be accepted. Extend charity to all.
“We must raise the banner of love and kindness as proclaimed by the Prophet of Mercy, Muhammad the son of Abdullahi when he said, “Show mercy to those on earth so that those in heaven will show mercy to you.”
“In particular, we charge Muslims who are used to travelling out to Saudi Arabia for Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) every year and wealthy Muslims who used to sponsor large number of Muslims for the same exercise to channel their riches towards the feeding of fasting Muslims and hungry Nigerians. The hadith affirms the huge reward accruing to those who feed people who are fasting without prejudice to the reward of those who are fed.
“We call on Muslims who are engaged in this holy exercise to spend the period in prayers for the lifting of this COVID-19 affliction from Nigeria in particular and the globe in general. We call for prayers for peace, political stability and economic buoyancy in our country.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)