Do not begin the fast until you sight the (Ramadan) crescent and do not terminate fasting until you sight it (Shawwal Crescent). If the new moon is concealed from you, then work out what it should be.
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President General, His Eminence, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, the Sultan of Sokoto, felicitates with the entire Muslim Ummah in Nigeria and all over the world on this year’s Ramadan Fast, wishing them all abundant blessings from Allah. The Council prays that the Almighty Allah spare our lives to witness many happy returns of Ramadan on earth.
In preparation for the 1437 AH ‘Idul-Fitri celebrations, the National Moon Sighting Committee (NMSC) of the NSCIA has advised the President-General that the crescent of Shawwal should be searched for on Monday, 4th July, 2016 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, 5th July, 2016 as the first day of Shawwal (‘Id day). If, however, the crescent is not sighted on Monday night, Wednesday, 6th July, 2016 automatically becomes the first of Shawwal, 1437 AH (‘Id day).
Muslims all over the country are hereby enjoined to be on the lookout for the directive of His Eminence, the President-General of the NSCIA, on the completion of this year’s Ramadan fast.
In addition to established and traditional Islamic leaders in each locality, such as the Shehu of Bornu and NSCIA-Deputy President-General, members of the National Moon Sighting Committee who can be contacted for information and clarification are:
As soon as the NMSC, based on verified information, confirms the sighting of the crescent, the Committee will advise the President-General of the NSCIA, who will announce the completion of Ramadan and the observance of ‘Idul-Fitri prayer. Muslims are also strongly advised to fast for six days between the 2nd and the end of Shawwal.
While reminding the Ummah of the necessity of paying Zakatul-Fitri with the intention of lifting the hearts of the indigent members of the community, the Council urges all to ensure its delivery to the appropriate recipients (i.e. the poor) and guard against its diversion by any agent or intermediary.
Though Ramadan may have come to an end, the lessons in it must continue to reflect in the lives of Muslims. The Council encourages them to continue praying for peaceful co-existence in Nigeria, as they keep the virtues and gains of the sacred month as a spiritual guide towards our accelerated development as individuals and a nation.
All media houses in the country are requested to kindly publicise the awaited announcement by His Eminence, the President-General of the NSCIA and Sultan of Sokoto.
‘Id Mubarak in advance!
Prof. Is-haq O. Oloyede, OFR, FNAL,