It’s official! Today isn’t just Children’s day, it’s also the first day of Ramadan

Everybody has one or two Muslim friends.

If you live in this part of the world, there is a possibility that you spent the better part of the week asking your Muslim friends/colleagues when this year’s Ramadan fast begins. If you are the Muslim, you’ve probably spent an equal amount of time answering: “soon”.

Well, that’s all settled. The Ramadan fast begins today, the 27th of May.

In addition to Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Turkey, Singapore,  Indonesia and South Africa, Nigeria has also begun the Islamic Holy Month of fasting today.

Every year, once a credible moon sighting Committee makes the announcement that a new moon has been sighted on the last day of the eighth month of the Islamic Calendar (Sha’aban), Muslims in that region begin fasting the next day, being the first day of the ninth month on the Lunar Calendar, Ramadan.

So for Muslims, today is the 1st of Ramadan, 1438 A.H (After Hijra). It’s not the average Children’s day holiday. Premium Times reports that “the Secretary General of NSCIA, Ishaq Oloyede, a professor, said the crescent moon has been sighted in several locations across the country, and that the fast would commence on Saturday”. The NSCIA is the Nigerian Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and the most credible source of this kind of information.

The month of fasting lasts for either 29 or 30 days every year and during that period, fasting Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and sexual activities from dusk to dawn. They are also required to indulge in more acts of worship while shunning everything unholy throughout the month.

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