NATIONAL MOSQUE ADHERING TO COVID-19 LOCKDOWN REGULATION BY THE GOVERNMENT.
Although there is no gathering in the mosque, the usual Azan (call to prayers) of Muslims to alert them of time for prayer is still conducted at every interval of prayer by the Muhazzin (the Muslim official who summons the Muslim faithful to prayer) of the mosque.
It was 1:13pm, time for the Azan for Juma’at prayer to be called. As the Azan was being called, it was an extraordinary scene. During normal Juma’at days, the mosque would be filled up with people to its capacity. There were none today. The time for Juma’at was fast approaching, outside the mosque was sunlight beaming through the long windows but inside the mosque there was one lonely soul the Muhazzin, it was indeed a sign of these challenging times.
The Muhazzin sonorously recites the Azan in Arabic through a microphone to inform the public that it’s time for prayer and that Muslim faithful should start coming to the mosque for prayer. While reciting the Azan, the Muhazzin as against the usual tradition of saying ‘Hayya alas Salah’ meaning ‘Come to prayer’, replaced the line with ‘Salah fi Rihalikum’ meaning ‘Pray in your dwellings’. This will constantly serve as a reminder to the Muslims listening to the Azan to remain in their homes and pray.
story & photography by Sadiq Sarumi for Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.