Sokoto-based Sheikh Musa Lukuwa has explained why he led others to observe Eid prayers Saturday contrary to the declaration of Sunday by Sultan of Sokoto as Eid-ul-fitri.
According to the Sultan, the new moon of Shawwal was not sighted anywhere in the country, signifying that the month of Ramadan would complete a 30-day circle.
But in a phone interview with our reporter, Lukuwa said: “The Sultan said the moon was not sighted but we saw it and our position superseded his own.”
According to him, the new crescent was sighted in many places around Sokoto metropolis and environs which were communicated to the Sultanate Council but to no avail.
He added that there were authentic reports, indicating sighting of the new moon from Yauri and Kamba in Kebbi state as well as from Zaria in Kaduna state and even our neighbouring Niger Republic declared today (Saturday) as Salah day.
“It is only one moon and when sighted in a particular place its sufficed for all Muslims around the world because the Prophet (SAW) urged us to desist from fasting when the new moon is sighted,” he said
Lukuwa recalled how the new moon of Ramadan was announced around 12 noon by his late father, Sultan Abubakar III, adding that the late Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki and Muhammmadu Maccido had never in their time disputed report on sighting of the moon on the bases that it came after 7pm or it went contrary to the forecast of astronomers.
When contacted the Wazirin Sokoto and Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs to the Sultanate Council, Professor Sambo Wali Junaidu said they had abided by the directive of the Sultan who by the teaching of Islam is the determinant of when should be the Sallah day.
He added that they had taken decision based on the time the reports reached them.