The League of Imams and Alfas of South-West Nigeria otherwise known as Rabitot-ul-Aimmah wal ‘Ulama has officially announced its dates for the commencement and end of the glorious month of Ramadan 1441 AH.
The pronouncement is in violation of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad III’s order on moon sighting; Muslim News can authoritatively confirm.
By virtue of his position as the Amir-ul-Mu’mineen (Head of Nigeria’s Muslim community) the power to commence and terminate Ramadan fast lies with the Sultan of Sokoto, and by extension, the National Moon Sighting Committee.
But the Robitoh, under the leadership of the Mudir of Markaz Ta’alimul Arabiyyah, Agege, Sheikh Muhammad Habibullah Adam Al-Ilory acted contrary to announce Saturday, April 25, 2020 and Saturday, May 23, 2020 as the beginning and the end of Ramadan 1441 AH
In a statement jointly signed by the Coordinator, Sheikh Habibullah and his Assistant Coordinator, Sheikh Abdul Azeez Abdul Razaq, the Robitoh also announced Sunday, May 24 as the Eid-ul-Fitri 1441 Celebration.
The League of Southwest scholars said the announced dates were based on the findings of Islamic Sharia complemented with Astronomical Calculations.
According to Sheikh Habibullah, “Astronomically, the conjunction that leads to the termination of the month of Sha’ban 1441AH will occur on Thursday 23rd of April, 2020 (equivalent to 29th of Sha‘ban, 1441AH) at 3:26am in South-West Nigeria.
“Thus, leaving the Age of the Moon (A.O.M) i.e. period between conjunction time and the next Maghrib (sunset time 6:54pm) at 15hrs 28mins which is only enough for sighting the Moon by a powerful Telescope or Binocular provided the weather is suitable.
“It is also important to mention that the geocentric illumination for this expected new crescent is 00.50% which will make sighting the moon even with telescope still difficult. Whereas, moon sighting with naked eyes is only possible when 17hrs – 23hrs. elapse between conjunction time and the next Maghrib (sunset time).
“This simply will mean that Ramadan will begin on Saturday 25th of April, 2020 in Nigeria. This is because sighting with the naked eyes on Thursday 23rd of April, 2020 is highly uncertain. Thus, Friday 24th of April, 2020 will be the 30th day of Sha‘ban, 1441AH based on the difficulty of sighting explained above ,” he added.
Quoting the Hadith which directs the commencement of fasting at the sight of the new crescent, Sheikh Habibullah Al-Ilory-led Robitoh said:
“However, based on astronomical findings, Ramadan will end on Saturday 23rd of May, 2020. This is because the conjunction that will terminate the month of Ramadan 1441 will occur on Friday 22nd of May, 2020 at 6:38pm leaving the age of the Moon at Sunset (6:57pm) at +00H 21 mins (i.e. sighting is not possible on the day).
“Hence, the sighting of the crescent is only possible on Saturday 23rd of May, and Sunday 24th of May, 2020 will be the official 1st day of Shawwal, 1441AH,” he emphasised.
By Abdul Waheed Shotonwa
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