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NEED FOR ADEQUATE PUBLICITY ON ISLAMIC DATES IN NIGERIA



By
Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori
14th January, 2014

Ordinarily, I wouldn't criticize the annual launching and presentation of the Islamic Calendar for the fact that it also helps in the approximation of the equavalence of the Islamic dates vis a vis the Gregorian dates. But we all know quite frankly that the Calendar would not always give us the correct and exact dates because it is fixed. Whereas, the hijriy dates are not fixed. It is possible for the dates to change because only Allah knows how the moon rotates for each and every months of the Islamic year. Even the experts in this technology only predict the likely day the new moon may appear. They hardly give a report with 100% certainty. That is why sometimes, when we hope that Ramadan would commence on a particular day based on what we have in the Hijrah calendar, at the end of the day, it may commence a day before or a day after. It may also commence on the predicted date.

It is our humble opinion that the JNI and NSCIA ought to be giving us updates on monthly basis. They should not be restricting their awareness on Islamic Calendar to the time Ramadan is about to be commenced or when the Arafat day would be announced by Saudi Arabia. Our suggestion in essence is that, as they normally do in the time of Ramadan and Arafah, they should always monitor other months too and issue press release on monthly basis. For instance, if they had given us update on when Rabi'ul Awwal's moon was sighted in Nigeria like they always do during the time of Ramadan and Arafah day, there wouldn't be any problem in following their updates. They are our leaders and we are bound to follow them when they direct us towards the proper path. If this is done, it would reduce the kind of controversy we normally experience during Ramadan and 'Arafah day.

The Sultan may have to direct that update be given on monthly basis. As they announce the beginning of the Month of Ramadan, they should always announce the commencement of other months too. 

Apart from ensuring peaceful co-existence with other religious groups in the country, it is their fundamental responsibility to always monitor the phase of the moon and give us updates on monthly basis. The role of the Sultan on moon sighting should not be in Ramadan and Dhul-hijjah alone. It should be extended to other months too because they are also vital and important.  

May Allah continue to guide us aright

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