Dogara, Kalu, others greet Muslims
Muslims in Nigeria are today joining their counterparts across the world to mark the start of Ramadan, a month-long fasting observed by most of the world’s about 1.6 billion Muslim population.
Two days ago, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, urged Muslims across the country to look for the new moon of Ramadan on Wednesday.
In a statement issued by the Deputy Secretary- General of the NSCIA, Prof. Salisu Shehu, the organisation noted that the call followed the advice of the National Moon Sighting Committee (NMSC), urging Muslims to search for the crescent of Ramadan 1439 AH immediately after sunset on Wednesday May 16, equivalent to 29th Sha’aban 1439 AH. The statement reads in part: “If the crescent is sighted by Muslims of impeccable character on the said evening, His Eminence would declare Thursday, May 17, as the first day of Ramadan.
According to Islamic scholars, fasting during the holy month is one of the five pillars of Islam, which also include prayer and charity.
And to fast, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and engaging in sexual activity from dawn to sunset. Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has urged Muslim faithful in Nigeria to use the period to pray for peace, unity, security, socioeconomic development and political stability of the country.
In a statement to mark the commencement of this year’s Ramadan, the Speaker also enjoined them to imbibe the spirit of forgiveness, self-discipline, tolerance, righteousness and sympathy for the less privileged in the society which the Ramadan fast teaches and promotes.
“In the spirit of Ramadan, I want to enjoin Muslims in Nigeria to maximize the spiritual and physical benefits associated with the holy month as well as assimilate the Ramadan’s ethical principles of sharing, caring, love, tolerance and piety”.
Also, a former Abia State Governor and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Orji Kalu, has urged the Muslims to use the holy month of Ramadan to offer prayers for President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria. According to him, the teaching of the holy Quran and qualities of Prophet Mohammed (SAW) should be emulated by the Muslim faithful beyond the Ramadan.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Alhaji Kunle Oyewumi, Kalu called for religious tolerance and mutual respect among people of different religious beliefs. He said, “I congratulate our Muslim brothers and sisters on yet another Ramadan.
“It is a season of spiritual rebirth and self-appraisal in the service of God and humanity.
“This period should be used to offer prayers for the nation. “The acts of piety, forgiveness, selflessness and togetherness should be demonstrated and upheld in this holy month and beyond.”
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