The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, has asked every Muslim in the country to look out for the new moon yesterday and today for the Eid el-Fitr. Secretary-General of the Council, Is-haq Oloyede, in a statement yesterday, said the council, under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, enjoined all Muslims to look for the moon. Mr. Oloyede said the Sultan had, therefore, put in place a National Moon Sighting Committee, NMSC, to that effect. Oloyede, who is also the Shehu of Borno and NSCIA Deputy President-General is among the 34 Muslims across the country as members of the committee.
Mr. Oloyede said: “NMSC has advised the President-General that the crescent of Shawwal should be searched for on Monday, July 4, equivalent to 29th Ramadan 1437 AH. “If the crescent is actually sighted by informed persons on Monday night and His Eminence is so advised by the experts, he would declare Tuesday, July 5, as the first day of Shawwal (‘Id day). “If, however, the crescent is not sighted on Monday night, Wednesday, July 6, 2016 automatically becomes the first of Shawwal 1437 AH (‘Id day).” He enjoined Muslims all over the country to be on the lookout according to the directive of the President-General of NSCIA on the completion of this year’s Ramadan fast. He said as soon as NMSC confirmed the sighting of the crescent, the committee would advise the President-General of NSCIA, who will announce the completion of Ramadan and the observance of Idul-Fitr prayer. “Muslims are also strongly advised to fast for six days between the second and the end of Shawwal,” Mr. Oloyede added. Mr. Oloyede said that although Ramadan might come and go, the lessons in it must continue to reflect in the lives of Muslims.
He said: “The council encourages Muslims to continue praying for peaceful co-existence in Nigeria, as they keep the virtues and gains of the sacred month, as guide towards accelerated development as individuals and a nation.”