The crescent moon heralding the Islamic month of Ramadan has been seen in several states.
The secretary-general of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Ishaq Oloyede, told PREMIUM TIMES that the Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar, who heads the council, will formally make the announcement later tonight.
The sighting of the moon indicates the commencement of Ramadan for Muslims globally.
During Ramadan, Muslims are expected to fast from sunrise to sunset by abstaining from food and drinks, as well as forbidden acts.
In Nigeria, the Sultan as the head of the NSCIA formally announces the sighting of the moon and the commencement of the Islamic holy month.
The Sultan later on Sunday night declared Monday as the first day of Ramadan fast in Nigeria.
Mr Abubakar announced the citing of the new crescent in Sokoto on Sunday in a radio and television broadcast.
He said the new moon was sighted in various places across the country which indicates that Sunday is the end of 8th Islamic month of Sha’aban.
The Sultan said that reports of the moon sighting were received from Muslim leaders and organisations across the country.
“Upon due verification and authentication by the national moon sighting committee and states committees’ confirmation, as well as routine scrutiny, the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan signifies the end of Sha’aban 1440 AH.
”In accordance with Islamic law, the Muslim Ummah is to commence fasting on Monday, May 6, 2019 accordingly,” he said.
He enjoined all Muslims to devote themselves fully to the worship of Allah throughout the Holy Month, and use the period to pray for leaders at all levels, progress, peace and prosperity of the nation.
“We further call on Nigerians to continue to live peacefully with one another irrespective of religious or tribal differences,” he said.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar in which Muslims observe one month fast.
Fasting in the month of Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, is a compulsory religious obligation on all adult Muslims.