The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has directed the Muslim Ummah to look out for the crescent (moon) of Ramadan 1442AH from Monday.
Abubakar gave the directive on Sunday in a statement issued by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council, Sokoto.
“This is to inform the Muslim Ummah that Monday, April 12, which is equivalent to the 29th day of Sha’aban 1442AH shall be the day to look for the new moon of Ramadan 1442AH.
“Muslim are, therefore, requested to start looking for the crescent moon on Monday and report its sighting to the nearest District or Village Head for onward communication to the Sultan,’’ the statement read.
The Sultan prayed Allah to assist Muslims in the discharge of their religious duty.
Junaidu gave telephone numbers that could be used directly to report the sighting of the new moon to the committee. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar observed by Muslims worldwide as a month for fasting, prayer, reflection and assisting the needy.
Meanwhile, the Emir of Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State, Malam Zubairu Maigwari and the Peace Revival and Reconciliation Foundation of Nigeria, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), have cautioned traders against arbitrary increase in food prices as the Ramadan fasting approaches. Maigwari made the call in an interview with journalists in Kaduna, yesterday.
“Marketers should reason with the common man and reduce the cost of their goods, especially food items, to enable people to afford the costs.
“As the Holy Month of Ramadan approaches, traders should feel the pains of the common man, cut down costs of food items so that they will receive Allah’s blessings in their businesses,’’ the royal father said.
He noted that religious preachers were worried about the increased cost of food items “whenever Ramadan is approaching. Hence call for the need for preaching against the act’’.
Maigwari also appealed to both Kaduna State and the Federal Government, market unions and regulatory bodies to monitor and moderate market prices to prevent an outrageous hike in the cost of food.
“Artificial inflation is making life extremely hard for Nigerians,’’ Maigwari said.
“Traders should think of meeting God and the consequences of tripling prices of commodities.
“Allah is watching you in whatever you do, always have the fear of Him in whatever you do.’’
He called on Muslim clerics to preach peaceful co-existence among people and avoid utterance capable of incitement.
“I am also calling on leaders of various religious groups to be just in all their doings, failure to do that calls for the survival of the fittest which at the long run inflicts heavily on the development of the country at large,’’ Maigwari said.
Pastor Yohanna Buru, founder of the NGO told newsmen in Kaduna that the organisation was working on plans to assemble a number of Christian and Muslim clerics go round markets in the North, to sensitise traders on the ills of arbitrary increase in food price.
He said the aim was to enable Muslim faithful go through the Holy month of Ramadan without witnessing daily increase in price of foodstuff, adding that that the campaign which was being done annually, started in 2015.
“We do discuss on the importance of the Holy month and also call on traders not to take advantage of the month to double prices of foodstuff or create artificial scarcity,” he said.
Buru said already 100 Christian and Muslim clerics have volunteered and had been mobilised to help talk to traders on why they should not take advantage of Ramadan to increase prices of foodstuff.