The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, has felicitated with all the Muslim faithful in Nigeria and the entire Muslim world on the auspicious occasion of the EIdul-Fitr celebration.
The NSCIA also seized the opportunity to react to several events in Nigeria including food inflation, religious crisis, 2023 general elections, the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities among others.
Regarding the forthcoming Ramadan celebration, Arc. Zubairu Haruna Usman-Ugwu, Director of Administration, NSCIA, in a statement he signed on Friday said that the Muslim leadership admonished the faithful to provide meals or food items for the less privilege this season.
The statement further urged everyone to observe the moon as stipulated in the Islamic tradition.
“In the spirit of Ramadan, Muslims are reminded that Zakatul Fitr is a compulsory food-levy imposed on privileged Muslims, to be given to the less privileged in the society. The Council, therefore, appeals to all concerned to ensure that they do not only comply but comply on time. The general practice is to give out the standard measurement to beneficiaries in the last two days of Ramadan and not later than before the ‘Id prayer.
“Furthermore, consequent upon the advice of the National Moon Sighting Committee (NMSC), the President-General enjoins the Nigerian Muslim Ummah to search for the crescent of Shawwal 1443 AH immediately after sunset on Saturday, April 30th, 2022, which is equivalent to 29th Ramadan, 1443 AH.
“If the crescent is sighted by Muslims of impeccable character, then His Eminence would declare Sunday, May 1st 2022, as the 1st of Shawwal and the day of ‘Idul Fitr. However, if the crescent is not sighted that day, then Monday, May 2nd 2022, automatically becomes the day of ‘Idul Fitr.
“In addition to the established and traditional Islamic leaders in each locality, members of the National Moon Sighting Committee (NMSC) can be contacted to report credible and positive sighting of the Crescent of Shawwal 1443 AH (see details on www.nscia.com.ng/nmsc).
“While wishing all and sundry happy holidays, the Council hereby enjoins Muslims all over the Country to be on the lookout for the announcement to be made by His Eminence, the President-General of NSCIA on the night of Saturday 30th of April, 2022. ‘Id Mubarak in advance!” the statement partly read.
Recall that the federal government had declared Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd May 2022 as Public Holidays in commemoration of Workers Day and EIdul-Fitr Celebrations.
Given its position on certain events in the country, the council expressed serious concern about the skyrocketing prices of food and consumables in the country, appealing to the government to stem the tide of inflation.
It however advised traders to stop arbitral increase in the price of food items.
As for the ongoing ASUU strike which began on February 14 , the council called for the speedy resolution of issues that have caused the strike.
Other recommendations by the Council reads:
II. Appeal to politicians to consider politics as a service to the Nation, which should not be pursued as a do-or-die affair. Nigerians should freely choose their leaders on the basis of those who will lead them with justice, fairness and character in line of our usual prayer, “O Allah, make the best of us our leaders, and don’t make the worst of us our leaders. Don’t make us, on account of our sins, be under those who will neither fear you nor be compassionate to us”;
III. Urge Muslims to exercise their rights to contest for elective positions and also participate actively in the electoral process by not only obtaining their Permanent Voters Cards, which is still ongoing, but also casting their votes on the days of elections. The Council insists that it is a religious duty for every Muslim to obtain his/her voter’s card;
IV. Welcome the policy of the Nigeria Police Force to allow female personnel to use head covering just as it is done in other civilised countries of the world, including the United States, Britain and Canada. Other military, paramilitary and security agencies are also urged to toe the line because that is the right way to go to promote inclusivity and civility in service;
V. Express serious concern about the persecution of Muslims particularly in Bauchi and many Southern states, including Rivers State University, where up till now, Muslim students are denied of a befitting place of worship on campus. The donation collected for the mosque project is still being warehoused by the Council for over a decade;
VI. Condemn the killing of a Muslim in Ijagbo and the vicious attacks perpetrated on peaceful demonstrators on 3rd February, 2022 while exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to peaceful protest over the decision of Oyun Baptist High School, Ijagbo, to deny some Muslim students entry to the school premises on account of their use of hijab. Muslims call for the prosecution of Christian leaders who were involved in the murder and violence;
VII. Urge Muslims to continue to exercise patience and restraint in the interest of peace and national development, in spite of the ceaseless provocations received from those who ought to be their partners in faith. Muslims should always remember that, “Allah is with the patient ones” (Q Al-Anfal, 8: 46) and that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said that, “patience is light”;
VIII. Appeal to ASUU and the Federal Government to find an amicable solution to the ongoing impasse/ strike and not allow some unscrupulous individuals to mobilise students in the name of protests to destabilise the country;
IX. Call on security agencies to up their game and forcefully address the dangerous security situation in the country;
X. Advise all Muslims to pray fervently to the Almighty Allah, especially during the concluding part of Ramadan, for peace, security and wellbeing of Nigeria and Nigerians.