The National Chief Imam, late Monday, announced to the Muslim faithful that the holy month of Ramadan starts today, April 13, 2021.
The announcement made personally by Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu noted that the obligation of fasting had been necessitated by the local sighting of the crescent / new moon at a town in the Volta Region.
“I am informing the public/congregation that the crescent has been sighted in a town called Bafori in the Volta region.
“It is on this basis that I declare that fasting has been made obligatory on all of us. Further details will be made available,” the Imam said after reciting a Quran verse and hadith – saying of the prophet – that spelt out conditions for the commencement of fasting.
Muslims around the globe are observing the holy month of Ramadan, which begins largely on Tuesday, April 13, as Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and partake in nightly prayers and other acts of worship.
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar in which Muslims are required to fast for 29 or 30 days, which is followed by the celebration of the Eid ul Fitr.
Most neighbouring West African countries are also starting the fast today, Nigeria and Niger had announced the commencement after the moon was sighted in their respective jurisdictions.
Globally, Saudi Arabia also announced the start of the season which will see a more opened up version as compared to last year when the COVID-19 pandemic forced scaled-down communal congregations and ban on foreigners who had intended to perform the umrah – lesser Islamic pilgrimage in Ramadan.
Significance of Ramadan
Ramadan is said to be a holy month during which period the prophet Muhammad says the doors of hell are firmly sealed and the doors to heaven are wide open.
According to the holy book of Muslims, The Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during Ramadan.
Before the daily fast spanning the entire month, Muslims have a pre-dawn meal called suhoor and also come together at dusk to break the fast with the meal called iftaar.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and is compulsory for all Muslims except those who are exempted – among others the ill, travellers, elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or menstruating.