Our attention has been drawn to a letter of your invitation to a Ramadan IFTAR by the Governor of Oyo State, Engr Seyi Makinde which will hold on Wednesday 20 Ramadan 1441 AH from 5pm till dawn of 21st Ramadan 1441 AH.
2. We have sought jurisprudential opinions and advice of the ulama (Islamic scholars) on the said IFTAR which some scholars have described as IFTAR DIRARA (an IFTAR of violations and contraventions of the Federal Government Law) by the Oyo state Government who has a penchant for going against anything by the Federal government.
3. As much as this group is not holding brief for the Federal Government, neither is it acting as the mouth piece of the NCDC, we, however, view with dismay and indignation the non statesmanship and non exemplary conduct of the state Governor who inspite of the existence of the pandemic has the audacity to organise an IFTAR for the League of Imams and Alfas in Oyo state.
4. In accordance with the dictate of the Shariah to obey the highest constituted authority, we as Muslims do not want our revered Imams and Alfas to attend such IFTAR in contravention of Federal government directives and also for fear of any of our Imams contracting the coronavirus and thereby transmitting it to the members of their families and congregation.
5. We hereby ask our Imams and Alfas who have been invited to the organised IFTAR to boycott it.
6. Some of the Scholars and leaders we have contacted cited two reasons why the IFTAR should be put on hold.
7. They cited the ravaging pandemic COVID 19 as one of the reasons. When the Imams and alfas are brought together, it will be very difficult to practice or enforce social distancing and that will be a violation of the federal government and NCDC directives.
8. Secondly, the day fixed for the IFTAR falls within the day the search for lailatul qodr begins and no one could say if the night of that day is exactly the lailatul qodr. If this happens, then substantial number of the Imams, particularly those outside Ibadan who would attend the IFTAR would have missed the majesty and magnificent benefits of that night. It’s better for them to err on the side of caution.
9. If the Imams and Alfas observed the Ramadan of last year without an invitation by the Governor to the government house, the non holding of or non invitation of the Imams by Governor Seyi Makinde will not lessen their rewards.
10. They are therefore advised to stay at home in their own interest and in the interest of the ummah.
11. We equally advise the Governor of Oyo state Engr Makinde not to always set a bad precedence by being the only Governor that organised rally during the pandemic and also plans to organise IFTAR during the lock down.
12. It should be noted that if any of the attendees Imams and Alfas contract COVID 19 after the gathering, then Oyo State Governor should be held accountable.
*Abu Aisha Muhammad*
Ibadan, May 12, 2020.
For: Joint Action Committee for the Preservation of the Rights and Honours of Imams.