Eid-el-Fitri: Sokoto Sheik, Sultan Differs on Moon Sighting

The Islamic cleric who led his followers to observe Eid-el-Fitri prayers on Sunday, Sheikh Musa Lukwa, has claimed that he got a report that the moon was sighted from impeccable sources.

The PUNCH had reported that the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, declared Monday as Eid-ul-Fitr, saying that no moon was sighted on Saturday.

The sighting of the moon signifies the commencement of the Muslims’ Ramadan fast and the end of it.

However, Sheik Luka faulted the Sultan’s findings, saying that it contradicted the Islamic ethics of announcing a new month in Islam.

The Sokoto Sheikh explained the Sultan shouldn’t have based his decision on scientific findings after human beings reportedly sighted the moon.

He said, “A lecturer at the Usman Danfodiyo University, Dr. Maigari, confirmed the sighting of the new moon at the main campus of the university and there were reports on the new moon from about 10 communities in Jega, Kebbi State, which was confirmed by the Chief Imam of Jega, Malam Bashar.”

“And Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi also confirmed the sighting of the new moon in many places in the country.

“So, we observed our Eid in compliance with the instruction of the Holy Prophet who asked us to fast and to break the fast at the sighting of the new moon. It is agreed that obedience to our leaders, especially, the Sultan, is compulsory for every Muslim but on the condition that he did not disobey Allah and His Prophet (SAW).

“You can’t take decisions based on scientific evidence by astronauts because it is against our religion and even Imam Malik discouraged this.”

The Sultan had announced that the Muslim’s Eid-el-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, holds on Monday in Nigeria.

Also, Saudi Arabia announced that Eid-el-Fitr would begin on Monday in the country.

Nigeria, including some Gulf states like the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain did not sight the moon, The PUNCH learnt.

The timing of Eid is determined by the sighting of the crescent moon, in accordance with the Muslim’s Hijrah calendar.

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