The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, had declared Friday as the first day of Shawwal 1444AH in Nigeria.
The Sultan made the declaration in his palace in Sokoto on Thursday after the Sultanate Council Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs in conjunction with the National Moon Sighting Committee received several reports from various Moon Sighting committees across the country.
The Sultan said he has accepted the report and accordingly declared Friday as the first day of Shawwal 1444AH, the Day of Eid-el-Fitr.
He felicitated with Nigerian Muslims and wished them God’s guidance and blessings, urging them to continue to pray for peace progress and development of the country.
The message came upon at the conclusion of the month of Ramadan, during which Muslims fasted during the daylight hours from dawn to sunset.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in his goodwill message on Thursday, also congratulated Muslims on successfully completing the demanding spiritual obligation.
While praying to God to reward the faithful for their sacrifices during the fasting season, Buhari advised that “we shouldn’t forget the important lessons of the Ramadan which includes improving our bond with the underprivileged and poor members of society”.
According to him, abstention from food and drinks during the fasting period had “made it possible for us to appreciate the situation of those who go without eating every day”.
Also, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, rejoiced with the Muslim faithful for the successful completion of the 1444/2023 Ramadan, in which he said lessons must have been learnt.
Reflecting on the significance of the Ramadan fasting, the Speaker said Muslims should internalize the lessons and good habits that usually come with the religious practice.
He called on Muslims across the country to use the occasion of Eid-el-Fitr to pray for the country, noting that such periods call for sober reflection and unity from all citizens, irrespective of their religious beliefs.