By Muhammad Nasir Bello
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has directed the Muslim Ummah to look out for the new moon of Shawwal 1441 AH from Friday May 22.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Shawwal is the 10th month in the Islamic Calendar and the month in which Muslims celebrate Eid-al-fitr after the compulsory fasting month of Ramadan.
Abubakar made the call in a statement signed by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council, Sokoto, and issued to newsmen on Thursday.
“This is to inform the Muslim Ummah that Friday, May 22, 2020, which is equivalent to 29th day of Ramadan 1441 AH, shall be the day to look out for the new moon of Shawwal 1441 AH.
“Muslims are, therefore, requested to start looking out for the new moon and to report its sighting to the nearest district or village head for onward communication to the Sultan,” the statement said.
However, in another statement signed by Prof. Junaidu, the Sultan also directed Sokoto District Heads, Village Heads and Imams of Juma’at Mosques to lead Eid-el-Fitr prayers in their respective mosques while Eid field should remain closed.
Abubakar said the directive is to enable the people maintain the social distancing been advised by professionals in order to curtail the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic across the state.
“Moreover, there should be no gathering or traditional celebration during the period, as such people should remain at their respective residences to celebrate,” he said.
The monarch further called on all Muslims to continue to pray for the end of COVID-19 across the globe and prayed for Allah’s help to all as the people discharge their religious duties.