The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar has said, that at both point did he ever make a turn and declared Wednesday, May 12 as the first day of Shawaal, 1442AH marking the end of the Muslim month of compulsory fasting (Ramadan).
In a press release issued on Wednesday morning and signed by Prince Bashir Adefaka of the Media Office of the Sultan of Sokoto; he described the social media posts as “Fake news and very low and unislamic behavior!!”
Referring to a social media post written in Hausa Language and credited to one “Fityanu Media” but posted on the page of Tijjaniya Online, purportedly claimed that “It said I declared Wednesday as Eid after Dahiru Bauchi called me!!!”
FULL TEXT OF THE PRESS RELEASE:
SULTAN’S DECLARATION ON 1ST SHAWWAL, 1442AH AND EID-UL-FITRI IS THURSDAY 13TH MAY
The attention of Media Office of the Sultan of Sokoto and Sariki Musulumi of Nigeria, Mai Alfarma Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, has been called to a very misleading post on a Facebook social media page called, “Tijjaniya Online”, which said that the Sultan had made a u-turn on his declaration of Thursday 13th May, 2021 as 1st Shawwal, 1442AH and Eid-ul-Fitri Celebration.
The post, written in Hausa Language and credited to one “Fityanu Media” but posted on the page of Tijjaniya Online, purportedly claimed that, “The Sultan has made u-turn on his broadcast of Shawwal after our leader, Maolana Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi authenticated Shawwal moon sighting,” thereby calling Muslims in the country, against the constituted authority of the Sultan, to go to Eid and celebrate Sallah on Wednesday.
We wish to make it emphatically clear to the over 100 million Muslims of Nigeria that His Eminence Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, as a man of principle, self respect and very highly and sincerely committed to leading the Muslim Ummah of Nigeria aright, in his 15 years on the throne and as Leader of the Ummah, has never used one word to mean two. Once he declares his moonsighting it stands.
Moreso, it may be pertinent for the concerned members of the public to know that the Sultan is not a Mr. Know All Acting Alone. Everything he does in moonsighting is based consultations even after profound and meticulous facts checking. He has a very formidable Moon Sighting System that is second to none anywhere around, based on dictates of the Qur’an and Hadeeth of the Prophet peace be upon him..
The average Muslims in the village and at the grassroots sight the moon. He has never himself sighted one but has a very well articulated system that carries out integrity checks on moon sighting information gathered from across the states and then, based on consultations with and advise of National Moon Sighting Committee (NMSC), the Religious Affairs Committee of the Sultanate Council as well as the various committees consisting of members from, not only Northerners but also, across other tribes, he made his sincere broadcast directing the Muslims to either commence or end fasting at respective times of Ramadan’s new moon sighting and Shawwal’s new moon sighting.
In his rare nature of responding to such misinformation, the Sultan said HE DID NOT declare Wednesday as 1st Shawwal 1442AH and Sallah but that, SURELY, HE DECLARED THURSDAY 23TH MAY 2021 and that he never made a u-turn from that declaration neither has he any intention to do so.
“It said I declared Wednesday as Eid after Dahiru Bauchi called me!!! Fake news and very low and unislamic behavior!!” The Sultan said.
In a statement issued and signed by Prof. Sambo Wali Junaidu, the Wazirin Sokoto and Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council, Tuesday night, the Sultan had approved the report of no-moon sighting submitted to him by his advisory committee, in conjunction with the National Moon Sighting Committee (NMSC) and the various other related committees across the country.
“His Eminence Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has accepted the report and accordingly declared Thursday 13th May 2021, as the first day of Shawwal 1442AH (Day of Idul-Fitri).
“His Eminence the Sultan felicitates with the Nigerian Muslim Ummah and wishes them Allah’s guidance and blessings,” Prof. Junaidu said.
Where those acting for any particular Muslim leader, for whatever reason known to them, heard “Wednesday” whereas what the entire world heard and read from the report approved by the Sultan was “Thursday”, remains a matter of concern.
One is concerned, considering the kind of people, who should cooperate with the the Leader for the unity of Muslims and, by extension, peace, unity and overall development of Nigeria, but resort to using deliberate misinformation to misguide Muslims even in a religious affair as cogent as Ramadan fasting. It is not only unfortunate, it is sad.
Prince Bashir Adefaka
Media Office of Sultan of Sokoto.
30th Ramadan 1442AH.
12th May 2021.