Reports say the moon crescent for the holy month of Ramadan have been sighted in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday.
The crescent was seen by the Hawtah Observatory, Sudair, in Saudi Arabia, Arabic daily Al Riyadh announced.
— جـ ر يـ د ة ا لـ ر يـ ا ض (@AlRiyadh) April 23, 2020
— Arab News (@arabnews) April 23, 2020
Earlier, a tweet by the Astronomy Center stated that the moon was photographed on Thursday at 12:02pm from Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah. The crescent has also been spotted in the UAE.
The UAE moon sighting committee are meeting after the Maghrib prayer Thursday evening to officially announce the beginning of the holy month, which is expected to begin on April 24 (Friday) in the UAE.
هلال شهر رمضان المبارك 1441 ه كما تم تصويره بصعوبة نهارا اليوم الخميس 24 إبريل 2020م الساعة 12:02 ظهرا من أعلى قمة في دولة الإمارات، من جبل جيس في إمارة رأس الخيمة. تصوير مركز الفلك الدولي. pic.twitter.com/THceDiBEZ6
— مركز الفلك الدولي (@AstronomyCenter) April 23, 2020
However, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, who is also President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and leader of the Muslim Community in Nigeria is expected to announce when Ramadan will commence in the most populous black nation.
Earlier in a statement on Tuesday by the Deputy Secretary-General of the council, Prof. Salisu Shehu, the Sultan urged Muslims across Nigeria to look out for this year’s Ramadan moon after sunset on Thursday.
He enjoined all Muslims to be prayerful unto Allah, especially in the month of Ramadan, to help the world in general and leaders in particular to be able to overcome the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“Consequent upon the advice of the National Moon Sighting Committee (NMSC), the President-General (Sultan) enjoins the Nigerian Muslim Ummah to search for the crescent of Ramadan 1441 AH immediately after sunset on Thursday, April 23, 2020, which is equivalent to 29th Sha’aban 1441 AH.
“If the crescent is sighted by Muslims of impeccable character on the said evening, then His Eminence would declare Friday, April 24, 2020 as the first day of Ramadan 1441 AH.
“If, however, the crescent is not sighted that day, then, Saturday, April 25, 2020 automatically becomes the first of Ramadan, 1441 AH,” the statement read partly.
The Sultan also directed the Muslim Ummah to practice social distancing when looking out for the crescent and specifically advised that people should look out for the crescent at their residences without going out in groups.
He also listed established and traditional Islamic leaders in each locality, members of the (NMSC) who can be contacted for information and clarification as: Sheikh Dahir Bauchi: 08036121311, Sheikh Karibullah Kabara: 08035537382, Mallam Simwal Usman Jibrin: 08033140010, Sheikh Salihu Yaaqub: 07032558231, Mal. Jafar Abubakar: 08020878075, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar: 08037020607, Prof. J.M. Kaura: 08067050641, Dr. Bashir Aliyu Umar: 08036509363, and Sheikh Abdur Rasheed Mayaleke: 08035050804.
Others are; Dr. Ganiy I. Agbaje: 08028327463, Gafar M. Kuforiji: 08033545208, Prof. Usman El-Nafaty: 08062870892, Mallam Ibrahim Zubairu Salihu: 08038522693, Prof. Z. I. Oboh Oseni: 08033574431, Nurudeen Asunogie: 08033533012, Sheikh Bala Lau: 08037008805, Sheikh Sani Yahaya Jingir: 08065687545, Sheikh AbdurRahman Ahmad: 08023141752, Sheikh Sulaiman Gumi: 08033139153, Alhaji Yusuf Nwoha: 08030966956, Prof. Kamil K. Oloso: 08023098661, and Malam Yahaya Boyi: 08030413634, among others.