Buhari urges muslim elites feed the poor as Ramadan begins


President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has joined world leaders in welcoming the month of Ramadan, the month of fasting and intense devotion for Muslims.

The president made his feelings known in a message to Nigerians and Muslims all over the world.

The statement was released by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, on Friday in Abuja.

According to the president, the fasting period offers a unique opportunity to “feel the hunger experienced by the poor so as to feel what it is like to be deprived and marginalised.

“Muslims should seek greater personal discipline, which is necessary for the realization of a great nation.”

He advised Muslim elite against food waste and extravagant spending while others face hunger and destitution, urging that they should care for their neighbours, the poor and the marginalised.

He also called for prayers for peace in the country and beyond, and for healing and harmony throughout the world.

He wished all Muslims a successful completion of the 30-day fasting period.

Earlier, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), declared Saturday as the first day of Ramadan 1443 AH in Nigeria.

Abubakar announced the sighting of the new crescent in Sokoto on Friday in a radio and television broadcast.

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He said the new moon of Ramadan was sighted in different parts of the country and that reports of the moon sighting were received from Muslim leaders and organisations.

“After due verification and authentication by the National Moon Sighting Committee and states committees’ confirmation, as well as routine scrutiny, I hereby announce the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan signifies the end of Sha’aban 1443 AH.

”In accordance with Islamic law, Muslim Ummah are to commence fasting on Saturday accordingly,” he said.

The Sultan enjoined Muslim faithful to devote themselves fully to the worship of Allah throughout the holy month, urging them to use the period to pray for the progress, peace and prosperity of the nation.

He called for sustained prayers for leaders to enable them lead the country to prosperity, while appealing to the leaders to always fear Allah in their collective responsibilities.

“We further call on Nigerians to continue to live peacefully with one another irrespective of religious and tribal difference,” he added.

Abubakar urged wealthy individuals to assist the poor and stressed the need for increased religious tolerance and brotherhood in Nigeria.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community.

Fasting from dawn to sunset in the month of Ramadan is compulsory for all adult Muslims who are not acutely or chronically ill, travelling, elderly, breastfeeding, diabetic, or menstruating.

The spiritual rewards of fasting are believed to be multiplied during Ramadan, he added.

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