Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has announced the sighting of the moon and the subsequent start of Ramadan fasting tomorrow.
With the announcement, Muslims in Nigeria will join their counterparts across the world to commence and observe the fast from 2nd April 2022 as the first day of Ramadan 1443.
Earlier, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites on Friday, announced that the holy fasting month of Ramadan will begin Saturday.
A source in Nigeria with contact in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia confirmed that the mandatory tarawih prayer during Ramadan was observed today in the holy city.
“Tomorrow, Saturday will be the first day of the blessed month of Ramadan,” the kingdom said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.
Traditionally, many Muslim-majority countries have followed dates set by Saudi religious authorities, but in recent years, many have used their astronomical calculations.
Four other Arab countries of the Gulf, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE, have also announced the Saturday for the start of Ramadan, while Oman said it is expected to begin a day later.
Muslims follow a lunar calendar with 12 months.
The sighting of a crescent moon marks the beginning of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
More than 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide will observe the month in which believers refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and engaging in marital activities from sunrise to sunset.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (Sawm), prayer, almsgiving (Zakat and Sadaqah), abstaining from all bad deeds, staying humble and also reading the Quran because Muslims believe that some of the first verses of the Islamic Holy Book, the Quran, were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during the month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is considered holy by Muslims since the Quran is said to have been revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be on Him) during the month.
Fasting during Ramadan is also one of Islam’s five pillars.
The starting date of the dawn-dusk fasting month of Ramadan is determined by both lunar calculations and physical sightings of a new moon.
Observant Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk and traditionally gather with family and friends to break their fast in the evening.
A cleric advised Muslims in Nigeria to commence the Ramadan fast since the Kingdom of Saudi has fitted the moon.
“Moon has been sighted in Saudi Arabia and also confirmed in Nigeria. So you can commence Fasting tomorrow. Ramadan Kareem,” he added.