Ramadan Fast Begins Today

Muslims across the country will begin the Ramadan fast today following the sighting of the moon.

Sunday had earlier been announced as the day for the beginning of the fast as the moon was not sighted by experts deployed by the Sultan of Sokoto, and the President General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, His eminence, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar to various communities and forest areas all over the country to look out for the new moon.

“The moon was not sighted anywhere in the country and so, Muslims would begin fasting on Sunday and observe Tarawih tonight,” Prof Ishaq Oloyede, Secretary General of NSCIA had told Vanguard.

However, head of the Moon sighting committee of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Prof. Sambo Wali Junaidu, announced early on Saturday in Sokoto, as reported by the Nigerian Televison Authority NTA and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, monitored in Abuja, that the moon had been sighted and the Ramadan fast would commence.

The sighting of the moon usually signifies commencement of the fast, which is one of the five pillars of Islam.

It was mentioned in the Qur’an and followed by the Prophet Muhammad that Muslims are to look to the sky and visibly sight the slight crescent moon (hilal) that marks the beginning of the month. If one sees the hilal at night, the next day is the first day of Ramadan and thus the first day of fasting. At the end of the month, when the community sights the hilal again, the Festival of Fast-Breaking (‘Eid al-Fitr) begins.