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Eid-ul-Adha: Muslims urged to desist from holding congregational prayers due to COVID-19

The Office of the National Chief Imam has reiterated calls for Muslims across the country to observe tomorrow’s Eid-ul-Adha prayers at home.

Although the President, Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday, July 26, 2020, announced an extension of the duration for hosting religious activities from one hour to two hours while the cap on the number of people permitted to attend services in churches or mosques has been lifted, these new developments are to be implemented from Saturday, August 1.

In that regard, Friday’s [July 31, 2020] Eid celebration would have to be celebrated under the previous directives, hence the call for prayers to be held at home.

Speaking to Citi News on Thursday, Spokesperson for National Chief Imam, Sheik Aremeyaw Shaibu said all regional Imams have been directed not to hold mass congregational prayers because the Chief Imam will hold the national prayer virtually.

“Ahead of the Eid celebration, we had sent a release out indicating that we will replicate the mode of celebration during the Eid-ul-Fitr because we are still in the first phase of the easing of the COVID-19 preventive directives. Though the President has mentioned the second phase of the easing, which begins on August 1, our celebration falls on July 31. So we are outside of the second phase. We are saying that we should adhere to the directives to pray at home.”

“Large open space celebration is suspended, according to consultations the Chief Imam had with the leaders of the various Muslim sects in Ghana, including representatives of the National Council of Muslim Chiefs. We hope that from the directives given in the press release, all regional Imams will adhere to them,” he noted.

Sheik Aremeyaw Shaibu further urged Muslims to adhere to all hygienic protocols during the slaughtering of their sacrificial animals.

“We also want to encourage Muslims who will slaughter to do it under the highest hygienic conditions. We plead with Muslims not to do the usual smearing of the environment with blood across the place but that anytime we finish slaughtering, we use detergent and Dettol to wash off the bloodstains so that we don’t allow flies to accumulate. We’ll also want to encourage Muslims to stay safe by wearing the face masks, consistent washing of hands, and maintaining social distancing.”

Already, the day has been slated as a statutory public holiday.

The Electoral Commission has also suspended the ongoing voter registration for Friday to allow for the Eid-ul-Adha celebration.

How the Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated

Muslims across the world and Ghana commemorated their annual Eid-ul-Fitr on Sunday, May 24, 2020.

During that time, social gatherings had been banned in Ghana. Religious activities were not being held. This led to most religious bodies resorting to having virtual services.

Muslims in Ghana like others in different parts of the world for the first time observed the Ramadan without the daily congregational prayers in mosques and other communal activities such as mass eating due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Citi

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