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Eid el-Fitr: NSCIA Urges Muslims To Search For New Moon On Monday Night

Daud Olatunji

As the holy month of Ramadan draws to a close, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), following the advice of the National Moon-Sighting Committee (NMSC), has urged Muslims to search for the Shawwal crescent immediately after sunset on Monday, 29th Ramadan 1445 A.H., corresponding to April 8, 2024.

A statement issued on Sunday by the Secretary-General, NSCIA, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, stated that  according to scientific calculations, the anticipated time for the Shawwal moon conjunction in Nigeria is Monday, April 8, 2024, at 07:21 p.m. 

Oloyede in the statement   however said that nevertheless, Islamic tradition dictates that Muslims rely on visual sightings of the crescent moon.

Oloyede said If confirmed by credible sources adhering to moon sighting and verification standards, His Eminence will declare Tuesday, April 9, 2024, as the first day of Shawwal and ‘Idul Fitr. 

He added that if the crescent remains unseen, ‘Idul Fitr will be observed on Wednesday, April 10, 2024.

The statement by Oloyede read further that  to facilitate the moon-sighting process, the NSCIA provides a list of members of the National Moon-Sighting Committee (NMSC) who can be contacted to report credible sightings of the Shawwal crescent. 

According to Oloyede, these individuals, including prominent Islamic scholars and leaders, play a vital role in determining the commencement of ‘Idul Fitr.

Meanwhile, the  NSCIA has issued a goodwill message and felicitations to the Nigerian Muslim community and the global Muslim population on the occasion of the 1445 A.H. ‘Idul Fitr. 

Led by His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, the NSCIA extends prayers for continued health and divine guidance for all believers.

In adherence to Islamic tradition and the spirit of Ramadan, the NSCIA emphasizes the importance of Zakatul Fitr, a mandatory food levy imposed on affluent Muslims for the benefit of the less privileged in society. 

The council appeals to all Muslims to fulfill this obligation promptly and generously, ensuring that those in need receive assistance before the ‘Id prayer.

Furthermore, the NSCIA calls upon all Muslims to pray earnestly for peace, security, and development in Nigeria, especially during the concluding days of Ramadan. 

In anticipation of the ‘Idul Fitr announcement, Muslims across the country are urged to remain vigilant and await the declaration by His Eminence, the President-General of NSCIA, on the night of Monday, April 8, 2024.

The statement read partly, “The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, felicitates the Nigerian Muslim ‘Ummah and the entire Muslim world on the auspicious occasion of the 1445 A.H. ‘Idul Fitr. We beseech Allah to grant everyone the opportunity to witness many more of it in good health and divine guidance. 

“In the spirit of Ramadan, Muslims are reminded that Zakatul Fitr is a compulsory food levy imposed on privileged Muslims, to be given to the less privileged in the society. The Council, therefore, appeals to all concerned to ensure that they do not only comply but also do so in good time. The stipulated practice is to give out the prescribed measurement to beneficiaries in the last two days of Ramadan but before the ‘Id prayer. 

“Moreover, consequent upon the advice of the National Moon-Sighting Committee (NMSC), the President-General enjoins the Nigerian Muslim Ummah to search for the crescent of Shawwal 1445 A.H. immediately after sunset on Monday, 29th Ramadan 1445 A.H. which is equivalent to 8th April 2024. 

“It must be noted that, according to scientific calculations, the expected time for the Shawwal moon conjunction in Nigeria is Monday 8th April 2024 at 07:21 p.m. 

“That notwithstanding, as Islamic tradition stipulates, Muslims are enjoined to search for the crescent of Shawwal on the 29th of Ramadan.    

“If Muslims sight the crescent in accordance with the moon sighting and verification standards, then His Eminence would declare Tuesday, 9th April 2024 as the 1st of Shawwal and the day of ‘Idul Fitr.

“ However, if the crescent is not sighted that day, then Wednesday, 10th April 2024, automatically becomes the day of ‘Idul Fitr.”

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