As the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar ýyesterday declared Monday as the first day of Ramadan, 1440 AH, President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerian Muslims to use the Ramadan to build lasting relationships with other Nigerians of different faiths.
This was contained in a greetings to Nigerians in general and Muslims in particular as they commence the month-long Ramadhan fast.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said the President’s greetings followed the sighting of the lunar month of Ramadhan.
Buhari called for the continued peace, progress and prosperity of the country.
According to the President, Islam is a religion of peace that upholds the values of tolerance and mutual coexistence without a place for hatred and violence.
He, therefore, urged Muslims to use the period to build a relationship of friendship and harmony with fellow citizens of other faiths.
The President prayed to Allah for the continued peace, progress, and the wellbeing of the country.
The announcement by Sultan marks the commencement of the 29 or 30 days fast by the Muslims across the country.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar in which Muslims will observe one month fasting.
Making the announcement in his Sokoto palace, Abubakar said the commencement of the fast followed reports of sighting of the moon in some states which marked the end of the month of Shaaban 1440 AH.
Sultan Abubakar said: “Upon due verification and authentication by the states and national moon sighting committees and states 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, Muslim Ummah are to commence fasting on Monday accordingly.”
The NSCIA leader enjoined all Muslims to devote themselves fully to the worship of Allah throughout the holy month, and use the period to pray for leaders, peace and stability prosperity of the nation.
“We further called on Nigerians to continue to live peacefully with one another irrespective of religious and tribal difference,” he said.