Abubakar, who is the President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), explained that the decision was to help curb the spread of COVID-19 amongst Muslims and Nigerians in general.
In a statement signed by NSCIA Director of Administration, Alh. Yusuf Nwoha, the Sultan said the decision was reached after due consultations, stressing that it was not alien to Islam.
According to the statement:-
“The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) under the leadership of its President-General, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Sultan of Sokoto, after consultations with Muslim Scholars and other relevant stakeholders, has today the 23rd March, 2020 ordered the immediate shutdown of all mosques in the Federal Capital territory.
“As hard as this decision is, it became necessary that Muslims should join hands with Federal Government and its Agencies in the sustained fight against the spread of the virulent COVID 19 which the World Health Organization (WHO) has since declared a pandemic.
“The decision to close-down mosques is not alien to Islamic tradition and culture as it could be traced to the time of our noble Prophet (S.A.W). In such situation, the (Mu’adhdhin) is asked to inform the believers to pray in their dwellings.
“The NSCIA, therefore, solicits the cooperation of the Imams and all Muslims in the FCT to ensure compliance to this directive as it is in the interest of all and sundry. May Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala assist humanity to stop the spread of this deadly disease across all the protect us all, ameen”.