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Muslims usher in Ramadan, as U.S. sends best wishes


Urge Buhari to release prisoners in goodwill gesture

The Muslim Ramadan fasting begins today. Yesterday, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, declared Thursday, May 17, 2018 as the 1st of Ramadan 1439 AH.

The announcement followed sighting of the moon by the National Moon Sighting Committee. The Sultan urged Muslims to maximise the benefits of the holy month, while emphasising the need to pray fervently for the nation.

Earlier in a statement, the Sultan had stated: “If the crescent is sighted by Muslims of impeccable character, His Eminence would declare Thursday, May 17, as the first day of Ramadan. If, however, the crescent is not sighted that day, then Friday, May 18, automatically becomes the first of Ramadan, 1439 AH.”

Saudi Arabia authorities on Tuesday disclosed the Ramadan crescent had not been sighted, therefore the month of Sha’aban would end Wednesday, May 16, and the first day of Ramadan would be Thursday, May 17. Accordingly, the Taraweeh prayer was observed at the two holy mosques, Masjid Al-Haram and Masjid Al-Nabawi, yesterday.

Delivering a Ramadan message, yesterday, Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Abdulhakeem Abdullateef, enjoined Nigerians to help one another, noting: “The purpose of fasting in Islam is to develop and strengthen people’s power of self-control to guard against bad habits. It is a period to increase our sense of commitment to our creator, unity and brotherliness, as well as give support to the less privileged.”

Also, Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Ishaq Akintola, said: “Buhari must borrow a leaf from his United Arab Emirate counterpart, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who ordered the release of 935 prisoners ahead of the upcoming holy fasting month of Ramadan.”

This came as the United States of America (U.S.) sent best wishes to Muslims all over the world.“On behalf of the U.S. Department of State, I offer best wishes to Muslims around the world for a peaceful and blessed Ramadan. For those observing this month, it is a time of reverence, generosity and spiritual introspection. Ramadan is also a cherished time of community, often spent reconnecting with family and friends,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement.



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