BY Ishola Balogun
The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has declared that the new moon of was spotted marking the beginining of Ramadan 1439 A.H Thursday May 17th as Ramadan 1st.
The new moon was reportedly sighted Wednesday in some parts of the country including Demoroji in Isa District Sokoto, Bonny in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Gumel in Gombe, Buji, Maiduguri in Borno State, Zamfara State, Bauchi State, Damaturu in Yobe, Minna in Niger State and Dutse in Jigawa State.
Following the development, Sultan Abubakar directed Muslims in the country to commence the Ramadan fasting which is one of the five pillars of Islam.
This is in line with Saudi Arabia’s declaration yesterday and other parts of the world that Ramadan begins on Thursday. The beginning and end of Islamic months are determined by the sighting of the new moon.
Addressing a press conference of print, broadcasting and online journalists at the Sultan’s Palace at about 8.15pm on Wednesday, the Sultan said the new crescent signifying the beginning of the Ramadan fast was sighted in some parts of the including Demoroji in Isa District Sokoto, Bonny in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Gumel in Gombe, Buji, Maiduguri in Borno State, Zamfara State, Bauchi State, Damaturu in Yobe, Minna in Niger State and Dutse in Jigawa State.
“Reliable reports of moon-sighting were received from Muslim leaders from across the country which were duly verified and the areas of sighting including Sokoto here, Borno, Zamfara, Bauchi, Rivers, etc.
“Consequently, tomorrow Thursday the 17th day of May 2018 is Ramadan 1, 1439 AH.
“We like to call on our Muslims brothers to devote themselves to the worship of Allah during the month and pray for our leaders in the country. We also urge all Muslims to use this month of Ramadan to dedicate themselves to the teaching of Islam and rededicate themselves to peaceful co-existence in the country,” Sultan said.