Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto, gave Muslims the order on Wednesday to watch for the Muharram new moon beginning on Thursday.
The Islamic new year 1444 AH is marked by the sighting of the new moon according to the lunar Hijra Calendar.
The Islamic calendar’s first month, Muharram, is second only to Ramadan in importance as a holy month.
In a statement that was endorsed by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, the head of the Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs in Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar, who also serves as the president general of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), issued instructions.
“This is to inform the Muslim Ummah that Thursday, July 28, which is equivalent to 29th day of Dhul-Hijjah 1443AH shall be the day to look out for the new moon of Muharram.
“Muslims are, therefore, requested to start looking for the new moon on Thursday and report its sighting to the nearest district or village head for onward communication to the Sultan,’’ he said.
The Sultan asked Allah to help the Muslim Ummah fulfill its religious obligations.