The Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, Mohammed Abubakar, has announced the commencement of Ramadan fasting.
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and is celebrated by Muslims globally.
Sultan Abubakar said the crescent for the commencement of the Ramadan fasting has been sighted.
In a broadcast on Wednesday night, the sultan said Muslims in the country should commence fasting on Thursday, March 23.
The Sultan of Sokoto said the moon sighting was duly “authenticated and verified” by the states and national committee.
He said: “Consequently, tomorrow Thursday the 23rd day of March 2023 becomes the first day of Ramadan 1444 after Hijra.
“We, therefore, call on all Muslims to commence fasting accordingly. As we just concluded the 2023 general elections and leaders emerge at the national and state levels by Allah’s will, we, therefore, call on all Muslims to use this holy month to pray in guiding the affairs of our great country.”
In the same vein, Saudi Arabia announced Thursday, March 23 as the first day of Ramadan 2023.
Al Arabiya reported the news, saying that the crescent moon was not visible for the sighting committee tonight.
The Holy Mosques Twitter also confirmed the news, saying: “The Crescent for the month of #Ramadan1444 was NOT Sighted in Saudi Arabia today Subsequently, Thursday 23rd March 2023 will be the first day of Ramadan 1444.”
Many other countries have also announced Thursday as the first day of Ramadan.
Muslims engage in different activities during the holy month, including spiritual activities.
Throughout the month, Muslims flock to mosques during the evenings to perform isha (evening) as well as taraweeh prayers.
Taraweeh are special nightly prayers that mosque goers practise exclusively during Ramadan.
In addition to prayers, Muslims are encouraged to increase charitable activities to help people in need.
Ramadan, one of the pillars of Islam, is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. During the month, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, abstaining from drinking, eating, and smoking.
Many hadiths and Quran verses cite Ramadan as one of the most significant periods in Islam.
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you, as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn self-restraint,” Surah al-baqarah verse 183.
Many Muslims visit Saudi Arabia during Ramadan to perform Umrah, an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.
Unlike Hajj, Umrah can be taken at any time of the year. Many prefer to perform the Umrah rituals during Ramadan.
Reports suggested that four million people had performed Umrah in the first 20 days of Ramadan last year.