- The Muslim holy month of Ramadan will begin on May 27
- This follows claim by NASRDA that the lunar crescent of Ramadan will appear in Nigeria on May 26
- Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and other immoral activities from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan
The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) on Tuesday, May 9, said the lunar crescent of Ramadan will appear in Nigeria on Friday, May 26, signifying the commencement of Ramadan on Saturday, May 27, Daily Trust reports.
This was disclosed in a press statement by NASDRA’s Head of Media and Corporate Communications, Dr Felix Ale.
According to him, the appearance of the Ramadan crescent would be recorded between hours of 6.49 pm and 7.54pm on May 26.
He also said the conjunction of the moon would occur at about 8:44pm on May 25, 2017.
Ale noted that Yola, Maiduguri, Gombe, Calabar and Port Harcourt would be the first to witness lunar crescent at about 6.04pm concurrently to 7.54pm, while Sokoto state would be the last to see the crescent at about 7.24pm to 7.54pm.
He said that all other states of the federation would experience the lunar crescent between the estimated time of 6.04pm and 7.54pm on May 26.
Ale added that the South West states would experience the first lunar crescent between 7.15pm to 7.53pm; the sun would set in the southwest states between 6.51pm and 6.58pm, while the moon would set at about 7.45pm and 7.53pm.
He said: “In the Southeast, the first lunar crescent will be experienced between 6.49pm and 7.36pm; the sun will set between 6:26pm and 6:41pm while the moon will set about 7.19pm and 7.36pm.
“In Abuja, the first lunar crescent will appear between 7.12pm and 7.42pm, with sunset at about 6.48pm and the moon will set at about 7.42pm. In Kano, the appearance of the first lunar crescent will be experienced between 7.09pm and 7.39pm, with sunset and moonset at about 6.46pm and 7.39pm respectively.
“The first lunar crescent will appear in Katsina between the hours of 7.14pm to 7.44pm with sunset and moonset at about 6.51pm and 7.44pm.”
Dr. Ale explained that the first appearance of the moon could only be sighted with naked eyes given a very cloudless sky without any atmospheric disturbance, while the first lunar crescent could be best sighted with the aid of charged device imaging, astronomical telescope or any optical astronomy instrument.
However, the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar will have to announce for Muslims in the country to commence the fasting.
For Muslims, Ramadan is the month in which the first verses of the Quran, Islam's holy book, were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad more than 1,400 years ago.
During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and other immoral activities from sunrise to sunset. This fasting is intended to bring the faithful closer to God and to remind them of the suffering of those less fortunate.
At the end of Ramadan, after 29 or 30 days, Muslims celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday. Eid al-Fitr in Arabic literally means "festival of breaking the fast".
Depending on the actual start date of Ramadan and moon sighting on the 29th night of Ramadan, the Eid al-Fitr this year will fall between Sunday, June 25 and Tuesday, June 27.
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