The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has declared Tuesday, April 13, as the first day of Ramadan 1442 AH in Nigeria.
Abubakar announced the sighting of the new moon in a radio and television broadcast in Sokoto on Monday.
He said the new moon was sighted in different parts of Nigeria and that report of the crescent sighting were received from Muslim leaders and organisations across the country.
“After due verification and authentication by the national moon sighting committee and state committees’ confirmation, as well as routine scrutiny, I hereby announce the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan which signifies the end of Sha’aban 1442 AH.
“Consequently, in accordance with Islamic law, Muslim Ummah is directed to commence fasting on Tuesday accordingly,” he said.
The Sultan enjoined Muslim faithful to devote themselves 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 for leaders on their commitment towards addressing all health related issues and security challenges in the country.
The Sultan also urged wealthy individuals to assist the poor, while stressing the need for increased religious tolerance and brotherhood in Nigeria.
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar observed by Muslims worldwide as a month for fasting, prayer, reflection and assisting the needy.
Fasting in the month of Ramadan is a compulsory religious obligation on all adult Muslims.