Muslims in Nigeria began the obligatory 30-day fasting on Tuesday in line with the directive of the national leader of Muslims in Nigeria and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, who declared Tuesday, April 13, as the first day of Ramadan 1442 AH in the country.Alhaji Abubakar, who announced the sighting of the new moon in a radio and television broadcast in Sokoto on Monday, said that the new moon was sighted in different parts of Nigeria and that report of the crescent sighting were received from Muslim leaders and organisations across the country.
“After due verification and authentication by the national moon sighting committee and state committees’ confirmation, as well as routine scrutiny, I hereby announce the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan which signifies the end of Sha’aban 1442 AH.
“Consequently, in accordance with Islamic law, Muslim Ummah is directed to commence fasting on Tuesday accordingly,” local media reports quoted Alhaji Abubakar as saying on Tuesday.
He enjoined Muslim faithful to devote themselves to the worship of Allah throughout the Holy month, urging them to use the period to pray for the progress, peace and prosperity of the nation.
“We further call on Nigerians to continue to live peacefully with one another irrespective of religious and tribal difference,” he said.
He urged Muslim faithful to use the period to pray for leaders on their commitment towards addressing all health related issues and security challenges in Nigeria.
Alhaji Abubakar also urged wealthy individuals to assist the poor, while stressing the need for increased religious tolerance and brotherhood in Nigeria.
Fasting in the month of Ramadan is a compulsory religious obligation on all adult Muslims.
Meanwhile, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has welcomed the beginning of Muslims’ holy month of Ramadan, which marks the commencement of 30 days of fasting.
In his message on Monday to Nigerian Muslims to mark the occasion, President Buhari prayed to Allah to accept “our sacrifices and increase the unity, solidarity, peace and prosperity of the nation”.
The Nigerian leader, who is in the UK where he is undergoing medical check-up, urged Muslims in Nigeria to exercise patience and tolerance and reject voices that seek to divide the nation.
He also urged all citizens to show compassion to the millions of the less endowed and remember those that have been displaced by conflict in their charity and prayers in this important period.
In his message, the President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, urged the Muslim Ummah to stress messages of peace, love and National unity as the Holy Month of Ramadan begins across the Islamic world.
In his statement on Monday, Dr. Lawan urged Muslims to remember the Holy Month as a period of fasting, sober reflection, self-discipline, and sacrifice.
“I urge us to remember our dear country in our prayers as we seek to overcome the challenges we are facing as a nation.
“This is in the realisation that Allah is the Almighty, kind and greater than all human problems.
“I enjoin us to stress the importance of peace, love, generosity and unity in our teachings during this sacred period.
“We should also not let down our guards in the observance of COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical protocols in our spiritual and other activities during the Holy Month,” he said.