BY ANKELI EMMANUEL, Sokoto
The Sultan of Sokoto and president general of Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), AlhaJi Sa’ad Abubakakar III, said yesterday that the new moon of Shawwal 1438 has been sighted across the country, thereby heralding the Eid-el-Fitri celebration today.
Declaring the new moon Saturday night at his Palace in Sokoto, the Sultan urged all the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria to celebrate their Sallah today.
According to a statement read by the Sultan, reliable reports of moon sighting were received from Muslim leaders and organizations across the country which were duly verified and authenticated by the national moon sighting committee.
The statement reads in part: “In accordance with Islamic Law, we have the honour and pleasure to announce that today, Saturday the 29th Day of Ramadan, 1438, after the Hijira of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (SAW), which is equivalent to 24th June, 2017, has marked the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the new month of SHAWWAL”.
The royal father further prayed Almighty Allah to accept the prayers and act of worship being practiced by all Muslim faithful across the globe.
Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and other Arab countries had earlier announced yesterday that Sunday will be the first day of Eid al-Fitr 1438.
Oman, however, has not sighted the moon, and thus declared Monday June 26 as the first day of Eid al-Fitr. According to Bangladesh, Pakistan, India will be sighting the moon on Sunday.
These countries started Ramadan on May 28 and so Sunday will be the 29th of Ramadan for them. Eid al-Fitr, which means “festival of breaking the fast”, marks the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.
Turkey and Muslim communities in North America, Europe and Australia had previously announced that they would celebrate Eid al-Fitr from Sunday June 25 based on astronomical calculations.