Following the sighting of the new moon across the world, Muslims across the world commenced fasting in the holy month of Ramadan for 29 or 30 days.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar observed by Muslims worldwide as a month for fasting, prayer, reflection and assisting the needy.
In Nigeria, the country’s Muslim leader, Sultan of Sokoto and president-general of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), His Eminence Sa’ad Abubakar III, said the crescent for the commencement of the Ramadan fasting has been sighted on Wednesday.
Ramadan 1444 crescent sighting announcement by His Eminence the Sultan of Sokotothe President -General of @NSCIAng pic.twitter.com/HfqtX47ozs
— National Moonsighting Committee Nigeria (@moonsightingng) March 22, 2023
“In accordance with the Islamic injunctions, we announce today Wednesday 1444 AH which is equivalent to March 22, 2023 has marked the end of the month of Sha’aban 1444A.H.
‘‘It was also followed reliable reports duly verified and certified by states and national moon sighting committees.
“Consequent upon which tomorrow Thursday March 23, 2023 is first day of Ramadan.
” I urged all Muslim to commence fasting according to Shari’a,” the Sultan said.
He urged all Muslims to live in peace with one another irrespective of religion and ethnic backgrounds for sustainable unity in the country.
Sultan Sa’ad further noted that as the country concluded 2023 general elections and leaders emerged at national and state levels, he urged Muslims to use the month of Ramadan to pray for them to stair the affairs of the country.
The Muslim leader however appealed to wealthy individual to assist the vulnerable and poor people by providing them with food to cushion the ongoing hardship.
Features of Ramadan
During the 29 or 30 days, Muslims give more prominence to the reading and explanation of the verses of Holy Quran across worship centres – mosques and homes.
Muslims refrain from vain talks and deep involvement in worldly matters but concentrate on spiritual rejuvenation activities and act of charity.
Special meals are prepared for the early morning for fasting and breaking of the fast at dusk. Those who cannot afford to fast due to exigencies and health challenges are enjoined to feed the poor to get the full reward of fasting.
The Nigerian President, Muhammadu extended his best wishes to Muslims as they commence the 30-days of Ramadan fasting, urging them to use the season “To project the best and finest virtues of Islam by personal conduct and not precept.”
In a goodwill message to mark the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, President Buhari said: “Let us use this opportunity to put the best teachings of Islam into practice, such as kindness and the love of humanity.”
According to the President, “This is an occasion for deep reflection and greater fear of Allah and avoidance of all evils that harm humanity.”
He said that;“The Ramadan is characterised by abstention from food and drinks from dawn to dusk, which brings both the rich and poor to share the experience of hunger together, thereby strengthening the bonds between the haves and the have-nots.”
President Buhari explained that;“As we begin these 30-days fasting season, let us not forget that Ramadan is not only about abstention from eating and drinking but it is a reminder to refrain from all kinds of evil and transgressions that harm humanity.”
“I am particularly aware of the activities of traders, who artificially increase the prices of their goods including food at the beginning of every month of Ramadan. This kind of exploitation is against the spirit of Ramadan and the spirit of Islam,” the President said.
President Buhari added that “While we are observing this important month in the spiritual life of Muslims, let us share food and drinks with the less fortunate, because by sharing our blessings with others, Allah will multiply our rewards for good deeds.”