The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, has declared Friday (today) as the first day of the Ramadan fast in Nigeria.
Abubakar announced the sighting of the new crescent in Sokoto on Thursday in a radio and television broadcast.
He said the new moon was sighted in different parts of the country and that report of the moon sighting were received from Muslim leaders and organisations across the country.
“After due verification and authentication by the national moon sighting committee and states committees’ confirmation, as well as routine scrutiny, I hereby announce the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan signifies the end of Sha’aban 1441 AH.
”In accordance with Islamic law, Muslim Ummah are to commence fasting on Friday accordingly,” he said.
The Sultan enjoined Muslim faithful to devote themselves fully 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 against the coronavirus.
The Sultan further urged wealthy individuals to assist the poor and stressed the need for increased religious tolerance and brotherhood in Nigeria.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar in which Muslim faithful observe one month fast.
Fasting in the month of Ramadan is a compulsory religious obligation on all adult Muslims.
President Muhammadu Buhari has also called for the observance of health guidelines as Ramadan begins.