Chief Imam delegates Eid-ul-Adha Prayer duties amid ageing concerns
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Accra: The National Chief Imam, Sheikh Usman Nuhu Sharubutu, on Sunday delegated Sheikh Muhammad Munir Dan Alfa, a long-time disciple, to lead the National Eid ul Adha prayers held at the Black Star Square in Accra.

The decision to delegate while in attendance for the Eid prayer puts to rest the concerns of some Ghanaian Muslims over the capacity of the National Chief Imam to lead prayers, considering his old age.

In April this year, the 105-year-old Imam, with the aid of two other people, led the Eid-ul-Fitr prayers at the same venue, causing an uproar among some Muslims in the country, especially on social media.

Leading the prayer while being assisted to stand, bow, and prostrate caused many to raise concerns about the well-being of the imam, the validity of the prayer, and the reason for not having deputy imams.

Sheikh Dan Alfa(right) leading the prayers.

Ghana is yet to have a deputy national imam since the passing of Sheikh Ahmad Kamaludeen in September 2019 and Sheikh Ishak Abubakar, a sibling to the deceased who also passed away in November of the same year while acting as deputy national imam.

It must be noted that the Chief Imam has also delegated weekly Jummah duties and no longer leads Jummah prayers at the National Mosque in Kanda even though he regularly attends the prayer sessions.

In a sermon read on his behalf, the National Chief Imam said sacrifice was a virtue and a deed to be undertaken by every Muslim.

He urged Muslims to slaughter wholesome animals and also clarify their intentions devoid of simulations and acts, seeking the praise and attention of people when sacrificing their animals.

Speaking on the upcoming general election, he called on political actors to exercise maximum respect, eschew hate speech, and avoid intemperate language in their engagements so as to prevent violent tendencies while keeping vigilant in the election process.

“Commit yourselves, be responsible, and conduct yourselves within the framework of the law. Remember, as servants, we all belong to God. Those who are contesting are the servants of God. Kingdom, authority, and power belong to God, so be mindful of this.

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“Allow not your political differences to give rise to conflicts, disorder, and violence so that you break the bond of relationship among you that has been established on the basis of faith in one same God. Your blood relationship should not be destroyed on the basis of your disagreement. Hold together as brothers and sisters,” he said.

He also called on the Electoral Commission to take all the necessary steps to ensure credible and peaceful elections by maintaining the principles of impartiality, transparency, fairness, a high level of proficiency, and exhaustive consultation to ensure trust and reduce suspicion.

The chief imam also called on the Ghana Police Service to maintain a high standard of professionalism, fairness, and impartiality. 

He also expressed appreciation to the president, Nana Akufo-Addo, and the vice president for the courtesies accorded him over the last eight years.

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, was the special guest of honour at this year’s event.

Dr. Bawumia emphasised the need for coexistence in harmony and tolerance among religious and ethnic groupings in the country.

He said the upcoming election should not be based on religious differences, adding that “we should let this election be about the policies and solutions that the respective candidates have for the country.”

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