• Warns traders against hoarding, price hike

From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Thursday, March 23, will make the first day of the month of Ramadan.

Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, in a statement on Monday, asked the Muslim faithful to look out for the crescent (moon) immediately after sunset on Wednesday, 29th Sha’aban, 1444 A.H. which is equivalent to 22nd March 2022.

Sultan who is the President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), said that if, however, the crescent (moon) is not sighted that day, then, Friday, 24th March 2023, shall automatically become the first day of Ramadan.

He said: “In addition to the established and traditional Islamic leaders in each locality, the National Moon-Sighting Committee (NMSC) can be contacted to report any credible and positive sighting of the crescent of Ramadan 1444 AH.

He prayed that Allah spares the life of every Muslim to witness, participate fully in and benefit maximally from the noble act of worship (ibaadah).

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He added: “The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion between right and wrong.

“So whoever of you sights the crescent on the first night of the month of Ramadan i.e. present at his home, he must observe fasting that month” (Q. Al-Baqarah 2:185).

Sultan, however, enjoined all Muslims to be more prayerful unto Allah, especially in the month of Ramadan; that He should grant us peace, stability, unity and progress in Nigeria.

He, furthermore, urged Muslim politicians to display the spirit of brotherhood and solidarity both of which represent some of the core lessons of Ramadan. “Let those who emerged victorious in the just concluded elections remember that it is the Almighty Allah Who grants power to whom He wishes.

“Also, those who lost should accept the same with faith and resist any act that may cause disaffection and disunity within the Ummah. NSCIA also appeal to endowed Muslims in the country to extend their acts of charity to the less privileged within their neighbourhoods before, during and after the month of Ramadan.

“We also admonish traders not to hoard food products or unduly hike the prices of consumer goods during the period of fasting. NSCIA, hereby enjoins Muslims all over the country to be on the lookout, on the night of Wednesday, 22nd of March 2023, for the announcement by His Eminence, the President-General of NSCIA, of the commencement of the year 1444 A.H. Ramadan fast.”