It is no news that the government of our dear state has announced the cancellation of this year’s eid prayers throughout the state due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The government however permitted Jum’at Service in line with existing safety protocols and guidelines.
From the Islamic perspective, the duo of Eid prayer and udhiyya are considered the most apparent rituals for the celebration of ‘Eid-ul-Adha. However, in case the government deems it pertinent to cancel ‘Eid prayers, based on cogent justifications, the rewards of our eid celebration will remain intact by the grace of Allaah. Also, this does not affect other rituals that are required of us according to the teachings of the Prophet –peace and blessings upon him. Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari (May Allah be pleased with him) he reported that Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “When a slave of Allah suffers from illness or sets on a journey, he is credited with the equal of whatever good works he used to do when he was healthy or at home” [Related by Al-Bukhari]. Based on this, a Muslim gets the reward of the good he used to do, even if he could not do it due to a pertinent reason.
Also, according to the most out-weighting opinion of the scholars, it is permissible not to observe eid prayers for valid reasons, like safety of lives in this case. This is in fact the opinion of the four orthodox schools of Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh).
Additionally, it is from the primary objectives of the Shari’ah to safeguard our lives from all harms. According to the government, the decision took into consideration “the rising figures of confirmed COVID-19 cases amidst an active community transmission stage of the pandemic” , coupled with the fact that “the State cannot afford the impact of any form of large gathering such as the kind expected at praying grounds and the associated difficulties of enforcing the safety protocols against COVID-19” .
Based on this, we are all enjoined to comply with the directive, while we continue to observe the safety and protective measures, as we observe Jum’at services in Our various Central Mosque at the actual time of Jum’at and celebrate Eid with our families.
May Almighty Allaah heal the world from all diseases and pandemics and may He protect every one of us and grant us a successful and virtuous ‘Eid.
Eid Mubaarak in advance.
As salaam ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaah wa barokaatuhu
Imam Monsur Adekunle Badmus is the Chief Imam of Ansar-ud-deen Society, Ikire Land