Moonsighting Controversy: Nigeria only country in the world celebrating Eid-El-Fitri today

Crescent Moon Visibility, Saturday, July 27... Photo Credit:

Nigeria is the only country in the world whose Muslim faithful are celebrating Eid-El-Fitri (the end of Ramadan festivities) today following the controversial announcement by the Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Sa’ad, on Saturday night that the new moon of Shawwal was sighted in some cities across the country, PREMIUM TIMES can report today.

This newspaper gathered, through extensive investigations and interviews with leading Islamic clerics, that the Ramadan fast in other parts of the world would only end today (Sunday), with the Eid-El-Fitri celebrations holding on Monday.

Click here and here to see progress in moonsighting across the world and the official first day of Shawwal in different countries.

The Chairman of the Nigerian National Moonsighting Committee, Hafiz Wali, as well as a member, Sheikh  Habeebullahi Al-Ilory, told PREMIUM TIMES that in no other country was the sighting of the moon reported by anyone.

“It will interest you to know that Nigeria is the only country celebrating Eid-El-Fitri today,” Dr. Wali said. “That is because it is the only country where people claimed they sighted the moon.”

Dr. Wali said his committee advised the Sultan that it was impossible for the moon to be sighted on Saturday but that the Sokoto monarch came under pressure from people who claimed they sighted the moon.

“By the estimation and calculation of our committee, the moon could not have been sighted and we did not sight it,” the moon sighting committee chairman said.

“We gave a report that the moon was not sighted but the Sultan received a lot of messages from people who said they sighted the moon. The Sultan could not tell them they lied. He made his announcement which is the right thing to do.”

Mr. Wali said he and his committee would however continue the search for the new moon on Sunday night and that the Sultan and other NSCIA officials would be briefed on the outcome of the exercise.

In his own comment, another member of the moon-sighting committee, Sheikh Al-Ilory, the Rector of the Marcaz Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies, said the Sultan’s announcement misled Muslim faithful in the country and made Nigeria the only country on earth observing the Eid celebration on Sunday.

“The moon was not sighted anywhere in the world,” Sheikh Al-Ilory said. “As at 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, our committee advised that the moon was not sighted but the Sultan still went ahead to announce the end of Ramadan. I’m just wondering why we have to do this to Islam. Is our own moon different from the rest of the world?

“As far as we are concerned, tomorrow (Monday) is Eid-El-Fitri.”

Sultan Sa’ad, who is also the President of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, had around midnight on Saturday announced the sighting of the new moon and therefore the end of Ramadan.

“The new month of Shawwal was sighted in different places within Nigeria and therefore tomorrow (Sunday) is the first day of Shawwal equivalent to 27 July 2014,” the Sultan said in an announcement aired on the Nigerian Television Authority [NTA].

The well-regarded moonsighting website,, also indicated that the celebration of Eid by Nigerian Muslims on Sunday was “based on mistaken claims of sighting” the moon.

Another globally respected Saudi Arabian timing website,, which provides very accurate prayer times for all countries around the world, said the Ramadan Eid ought to be celebrated on July 28 in most parts of the world as crescent visibility can be extended to the whole world.

“We are very pleased to announce that North, Central and South America, all of Africa, all of Europe, and almost all of Asia except Japan & North Korea and few countries of Oceania will be able to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr 2014 (1435) on Monday, 28th July 2014,” the website announced on Sunday afternoon.

“The other countries in the world, mainly in Oceania, but also Japan and North Korea as well as some parts of Russia & China will be able to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr on Tuesday, 29th July 2014.”

The Sultan made the Nigerian moonsighting announcement despite receiving the report of Mr. Wali’s Moon-Sighting Committee that the moon was not sighted.

But when contacted after the Sultan’s announcement, the Secretary-General of the organisation, Is-haq Oloyede, a professor of Islamic Studies, said he was not aware that the moon had been sighted.

“I spoke to the Sultan about four times tonight and he did not tell me that the moon has been sighted,” Mr. Oloyede told PREMIUM TIMES. “In any case, any such claim is ridiculous and unscientific. It cannot be right.

“The National Moonsighting Committee has not informed us of any credible sighting of the moon. Rather, they said the moon wasn’t sighted. The new moon was only born at 11:45 P.M. tonight (Saturday) and it will take several hours for it to be sighted.

“Is our own sky different? Is our own moon manufactured in Nigeria?”



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  • omonaija

    that is all your problem,bokoharam should have announce this for you

  • Rogbodiyan


    The Fulani emirates are fastly losing prestige in the Islamic
    world. Going rogue on religious matters is the easiest way to undo Dan Fodio’s
    Islamic Jihad. For there is only one Islam. And as the Fulani Emirates step out of
    global Islam every year, Muslims will begin to wonder if the emirates are truly
    Islamic or empire-building politics only.

    “The (Fulani) emirates are not Islamic,” Sheikh Gumi, a Nigerian Muslim scholar
    had said had said in a public statement last year. And now, according to the Premium Times,
    “Sheikh Al-Ilory, the Rector of the Marcaz Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies, asked:” I’m
    just wondering why we have to do this to Islam. Is our own moon different from
    the rest of the world?” In his view, “the Sultan’s announcement misled Muslim
    faithful in the country and made Nigeria the only country on earth observing
    the Eid celebration on Sunday”.

    • Onike24

      The same sheikh Gumi that introduced Salafist and Wahhabism into Nigeria. BH have a extreme salafist ideology!please!

  • Ojukwu Chukwudi

    Is a big lie. Everybody sighted in Maiduguri. Infact, we even capture it with our phones. If Premium times want it, i can give her the image of the new moon. Now with this painstaking conduct research and tell us the whereabouts of Shekau.

    • Nwa Aba #Lets Break Up Now

      So you are BH commander in maiduguri
      aboki are you trying to give PT moon picture you took since last month?
      confusion in the north
      enemies are scattered

      • Ojukwu Chukwudi

        I would have not responded to a lunatic, but sometimes keeping mute will further create more insane people as we are experiencing with you. The real boko haram are the unemployed people like you hiding under Biafra to cause more harm to Nigeria. Biafra is dead forever, and you are doomed.

        • Nwa Aba #Lets Break Up Now

          Dear BH commander working class people don’t capture moon with their phones
          your forces do capture every moving object on sight, moon, star, sun, goat, cow, children, women, and chibok girls
          enemies have scattered

          • Mosaku 147

            On point.

          • Ojukwu Chukwudi

            Tel your demi god in villa to bring back our girls, and 20 Billion dollars before his down fall in 2015.

  • DanYaro

    Why is it hard to agree on something so factual???????

  • solomon

    Nigerian Muslims has gone too backward nowadays with all the bloods on their heads.

    God has abandoned them all completely

    • Lanre

      God is indeed with you but do not take his been merciful to comment on something you have no business with.

    • Peju Adekanbi

      @ Solomon:

      I am not sure but i will not doubt that Allah shall reserve the hottest part of hell for Nigerian Muslims because they wilfully violate the Koran and the Hadith by perpetrating and abetting mass murders and genocide. They may not even qualify as Muslims since they also fail to read, as enjoined in the first verse of the Koran. A blissfully ignorant person cannot be a Muslim. That is what the Koran says. And that is why the Nigerian pretenders to Islam were told by the superintendent in Sokoto to stop fasting today – so as not to be confused with true Muslims who will mark the end of Ramadan, worldwide, tomorrow.

      • Khoala


  • igabi

    This controversy is needless. If the laid down procedure of establishing the appearance of the moon has been followed what is wrong if nigeria is the only country where eid was celebrated? The use of science methods and/or equipment to establish appearance moon can not replace the method laid down by the shari’a. Next people will start using ultrasound scanning to establish weither a divorcee is pregnant or not and hence abolish idda and so on.

    The officials interviewed are doing a great disservice to the collective leadership and unity of muslims in nigeria. They should know that muslim tradition does not accept this sort of clash with a leader on the pages of newspaper especially for people who have access to such leader. A more responsible approach should have been for them to privately advise this leader and if they believe he is not ready to listen to them, then they should resign the appointments.


    The sultan is the spiritual head of Nigerian Muslims. He says the moon was sighted. Then it was sighted. No need for another round of controversy. Happy Eid-El-Fitr to all our Muslim brethren. May our country experience peace, security and progress. Have fun!

  • Garden-City Boy

    I have said it severally in the past and will do so yet again: If you believe any one word awusa man tells you, you as well believe just anything. For the awusa man is an inveterate lair, from top to the very bottom. The Sultan could not see any moon himself. He preferred to go along with liars who claimed to see some non-existent moon and impose falsehood on his followers. A whole “SPIRITUAL LEADER” gives his endorsement to something he knows is an outright lie.
    Shi’tes and Sunnis over to you; you need to start crossing swords and daggers However, observers and commentators saw this spike in Kano bombing the moment Sanusi Lamido Sanusi became emir. Only difference is he is no longer in the position to reach into public funds to reward his wards for ‘job-well-done’. It should be noticed that “MUHAMMADU” has attached to his name, signalling things to come. He can’t be a “MUHAMMADU” for nothing. We already know the handiwork of other “MUHAMMADU’s” before him. We are indeed one-NAJERIYA and it is in the interest of one nation that we must put up with the damn awusas mess.

  • Ken

    Blame Jonathan!

  • Khoala

    i like it

    • Khoala

      thank you

  • redeem

    After all, what drives the faithful droves to take the long journey to SCOAN week-in week-out, ignoring the threats of ‘Boko Haram’ and Ebola, if not for their firmly held convictions? Are the media insinuating that these thousands of South African pilgrims are mentally incapacitated or under some cryptic delusion? Also, how many of those making judgmental statements behind the comfort of their computer screens have met the man, heard him speak or partaken in one of his services? I have.

    Yes, T.B. Joshua is controversial, unconventional and unpredictable but that is no reason for the media to add needless sensationalism to a story that is already tragic enough. This is not a time to debate Joshua’s authenticity but to mourn with our brothers and sisters whose lives were lost.