The Sultan of Sokoto and President General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III yesterday asked Muslims to look out for the new moon of Ramadan 1440A.H.
The Sultan, who made the appeal in a statement signed by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, the chairman, Sultanate Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, said that Muslims all over the country could report moon sighting to specific numbers given out for the purpose.
The statement read in part, “This is to inform the Muslim Ummah that Sunday, May 5, which is equivalent to 29 day of Sha’aban 1440A.H., shall be the day to look for the new moon of Ramadan 1440A.H.
“Muslims are, therefore, requested to start looking for the new moon of Ramadan 1440AH on Sunday and report its sighting to the nearest district or village head for onward communication to the Sultan.”
While urging all Muslims to devote themselves to the work of Allah, Sultan also admonished the faithful to use the fasting period in praying for Nigeria, its leaders and peace.
Ramadan is the month which all Muslim faithful are expected to fast and it is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
Meanwhile, as Muslims prepare to commence the annual one month fast, they have been advised to consider the spiritual impact of the period beyond any other material gain.
Giving the advice yesterday in Sokoto, a respected cleric, Malam Shehu Umar Yabo, said it is important for Muslims to understand the true meaning of the month of Ramadan and what is required of them.
According to him, while Muslims have the spiritual aspect of making their ways acceptable unto Allah in the fasting period, they also have the humanity requirement by ensuring that the less privileged in their midst are taken care of.
“The month is a holy one. If the moon is sighted on Saturday, which is the 29th day of the Islamic calendar it means we are starting fasting on Sunday, and if it is sighted on Sunday, which is the 30th day of the Islamic calendar, then fasting will commence on Monday.”
He, however, stated that they were waiting for the Sultan to make formal announcement on when to commence fasting.
“My appeal to people is that they should try to encourage one another on the true meaning of this holy month. Those that are wealthy should please assist the less privileged.
“Those that are also into marketing should please consider the period as not a time to make unholy profits by skyrocketing their prices, rather it is a time for sober reflection on how best to make impact on humanity through charity works.
“They should rather consider selling at a very average cost with little profit and obtain grace from Allah. All those selling vegetable and fruits; those in transport business and in all other endeavours should put humanity first at this period,” said Yabo.
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