***SEE OFFICIAl STATEMENT BY THE NSCIA BELOW***
The Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Saad, has announced the sighting of the new crescent of “Shawwal”, signifying the end of Ramadan fasting for Nigerian Muslims.
Mr. Abubakar, who made the announcement in his palace in Sokoto on Saturday, said Muslim faithful in Nigeria are to observe the Eid El Fitr Sallah celebrations Sunday.
The Sultan of Sokoto said the new moon was sighted in Adamawa, Katsina and parts of Sokoto state.
The new moon marks the end of the 29-day long Ramadan and the start of the Islamic month of Shawwal.
President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a message from London, where he is undergoing medical treatment, felicitating with Muslims on the Sallah celebrations.
The federal government already declared Monday and Tuesday as public holidays for the celebration.
The Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) had on Friday asked Muslims to look out for new moon of Shawwal.
The NSCIA also released the names and telephone numbers of members of its moon sighting committee members across Nigeria.
Members of that committee were to be contacted if the new moon of Shawwal is sighted, according to Islamic tradition.
Saudi Arabia and several other countries around the world had earlier announced the end of the Ramadan fast, saying the new moon of Shawwal had been sighted in their territories.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Ali Ahmad, has congratulated Muslims on the successful completion of the fast and urged them to sustain the virtues of Ramadan by maintaining the love, togetherness and peaceful co-existence that characterized the month.
The speaker said the discipline and self-restraint displayed during the holy month remained the only way to live a good life and make the society a better place to live.
Mr. Ahmad urged Muslims to see Eid-el-fitri celebration as a season for sober reflection, noting that they must also rededicate their lives to the teachings of the Holy Qur’an as demonstrated by Prophet Mohammed.
He said Nigerians, especially Muslims, should use the Sallah period to pray for Nigeria to overcome the multifaceted challenges facing the country.
“Being good Muslims requires that we follow the examples of Prophet Muhammad who was always quick to forgive those that transgressed against him and lived a life of building common understanding among the people,” Mr. Ahmad said.
UPDATE: BELOW IS THE OFFICIAL PRESS STATEMENT BY THE NSCIA ANNOUNCING THE END OF THE 2017 RAMADAN FAST
SHAWWAL PRESS RELEASE
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, wishes to inform the Nigerian Muslim Ummah that there was positive sighting of the crescent of Shawwal, 1438AH on the 29th of Ramadan, 1438AH, equivalent to 24th June, 2017.
Therefore, Saturday, 24th June, 2017 is the last day of Ramadan, 1438AH.
In line with the above, His Eminence, the President-General of NSCIA and Sultan of Sokoto, has approved Sunday, 25th June, 2017 as the 1st day of Shawwal, 1438AH.
The Council hereby enjoins the Nigerian Muslim Ummah to continue to promote peaceful coexistence and unity among all the citizens of the country.
Ustaz Christian Isa Okonkwo,
Director of Administration,
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