Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III has declared Saturday May 27, 2017 as the first day of Ramadan, 1438 AH which marks the commencement of the Ramadan fast by the Muslims.
Making the announcement Friday in his palace in Sokoto, Abubakar said the commencement of the fast followed reports of sighting of the moon across various states of the federation which marked the end of the month of Shaaban 1438.
The Nigerian Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has also declared that the fast commences Saturday.
The Secretary General of NSCIA, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, said the crescent moon has been sighted in several locations across the country, and that the fast would commence on Saturday.
“We wish Muslims in Nigeria and all over the world a prayerful, meaningful and purposeful Ramadan,” Oloyede said.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (Sawm) to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Prophet Mohammed according to Islamic belief.
This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
During Ramadan, Muslims have to abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to sunset.
Devout Muslims also mark the month by intense worship, performing special nightly prayers and reading Islam’s holy book, the Koran.
Fasting is one of Islam’s five pillars, alongside declaration of monotheism, prayer five times a day, alms-giving, and the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.