*Ramadan is 29 days ahead if…
By BASHIR ADEFAKA
The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has declared Sunday February 11, 2024 as the Sha’aban 1, 1445AH.
This followed sighting of new moon of Sha’aban thus ending the month of Rajab 1445AH after sunset on Saturday February 10.
The Sultanate Council, Sokoto Moon Sighting Committee headed by the Wazirin Sokoto made this known in a statement in the early hours of Sunday.
“His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar CFR, mni, declared today Sunday 11th February, 2024 as the 1st day of Sha’aban 1445 AH, a statement signed by His Highness Waziri of Sokoto, Professor Sambo Wali Junaidu, as Chairman Moon Sighting Committee and Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council, Sokoto).
By this declaration coming from the Sultan, Ramadan that is the ninth month of Islamic calendar year is now 29 days ahead.
It will be recalled that the Sultan had earlier enjoined Muslims in Nigeria to look out for the crescent of Sha’aban 1445AH after sunset on Saturday 29th Rajab, 1445AH (February 10, 2024).
Sultan Abubakar, whose Sultanate Council, Sokoto makes moonsighting on monthly basis a tradition since ascending the throne on November 2, 2002, made the call to search for Sha’aban crescent searching in a statement by the Deputy Secretary-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Professor Salisu Shehu, on Friday.
“Scientifically, the expected time for the conjunction of the moon is on Friday, February 9, 2024, by 11:59 pm. It is important to note that the moon appears and can be sighted usually long (even bearing other environmental factors) after the conjunction has taken place,” the statement read.
Sha’aban, the eighth lunar calendar month, beginning today February 11, 2024 indicates that this year’s Ramadan 1445AH will begin on March 11 as it is now clear from Sultan’s declaration of Sha’aban commencement, that March 10 will be Sha’aban 29.
The DEFENDER reports that traditionally, Ramadan will fasting will start on March 12 only if the crescent for new month of Ramadan is not sighted March 10 and then, the days of Sha’aban will be counted to 30 on March 11.
The Sultan as leader of the Ummah will, however, be on ground to provide the necessary guidance as declaration of commencement of fasting as vital as of Ramadan is sole responsibility of the leadership that he represents.