Ramadan begins, Buhari, Sultan others urge prayers for Nigeria

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The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has declared April 2, the first day of Ramadan

He made the declaration following the sighting of the Ramadan crescent moon from multiple locations in Nigeria on Friday evening, prompting announcement of the commencement of Ramadan fast.

In a live broadcast on Friday evening, the Sultan stated that Ramadan fast would commence on Saturday in accordance with Sharia.

He noted that according to reports he received, the new moon had been sighted in Sokoto, Borno, Yobe, Zamfara, and Plateau states.

Ramadan is the ninth lunar month of the Islamic calendar observed by Muslims worldwide as a month for fasting, prayer, reflection, and assisting the needy.

During the period, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and sexual activities from dawn to dusk for 29 or 30 days.

In the same vein, the Sultan enjoined Muslims to be more prayerful unto Allah, to help the nation, the world in general and the leaders in particular to overcome the current   challenges.

 “Fasting brothers and sisters should ensure they have enough rest and consume sufficient fluid after each day’s fast,” he urged.

Meanwhile, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has urged the Muslims nationwide to seek greater personal discipline, necessary for the realisation of a great nation.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari said the Ramadan period offers a unique opportunity to “feel the hunger experienced by the poor so as to feel what it is like to be deprived and marginalised.”

The statement is titled, ‘President Buhari welcomes Ramadan fasting, asks Muslims to feed the poor.’o

He advised Muslim elite against food waste and extravagant spending while others face hunger and destitution, while also calling for prayers for peace in the country and beyond.

 Also, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan in a statement, explained that Ramadan “is a period of spiritual reflection, abstinence, sacrifice and supplications to the Almighty Allah.”

 “The essence of the period is even more significant for us as we seek solutions and divine guidance out of the challenges that we currently face in our dear nation,” he said.

Similarly,  a former Senate President,  Dr Bukola Saraki, congratulated Nigerian Muslims for witnessing the commencement of this year’s Ramadan fast and urged them to pray to Almighty Allah to make positive interventions in the affairs of the country.

In a statement signed by the Head of his Media Office, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki stated that between the last Ramadan and now, a series of events had happened that shook the world, including the continued existence of cases of COVID-19, which had in the past affected several aspects of religious rites.

“We have many reasons to be grateful to almighty Allah, particularly for preserving us till this moment. We are happy that except in a few places around the world, this year, the pandemic has reduced tremendously.

“It is important that Muslims in Nigeria dedicate more time to pray for our dear country in this holy month,” Saraki said.