Sokoto imam leads Eid prayers despite no moon sighting

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Despite no sighting is the crescent moon, a Sokoto-based cleric, Sheikh Musa Lukwa, on Tuesday, led his followers to observe eid prayer.

Recall that the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) under the leadership of Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, had declared Wednesday, April 10 as the first of Shawwal and Eid day, commemorating the completion of this year’s Ramadan fast.

The council said the crescent moon was not sighted on Monday, the same view earlier held by Saudi Arabia authorities.

But Lukwa, who has over the years disobeyed the Sultan’s directive on moon sighting, led prayers at his Juma’at mosque around 8:30am on Tuesday, April 9.

Lukwa insisted that the moon of Shawwal was sighted in neighbouring Niger Republic on Monday, April 8.

“There were reports of sightings on the new crescent in many places, including here in Nigeria, but the one that we were sure of is that of Niger Republic,” he declared.

“We have a verified video clip of their council of Ulamah authenticating the report after which the country declared Tuesday as Sallah day. So it is now binding on us to observe Eid on Tuesday because this is what the teachings of the Holy Prophet says.

“If we can accept that of Saudi Arabia, why can’t we agree with that of Niger Republic which is nearer to us.

  1. “I am not saying all Nigerian Muslims must observe their Eid prayer on Tuesday but we have no moral justification not to observe our prayer on Tuesday because the new moon was sighted by our neighbors. And remember there is no fasting on Sallah day, it is prohibited,” he said.

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