Muslim Scholars Fault NASRDA On Commencement Of Ramadan
The Council of Imams and Ulamaa of Lagos State has faulted suggestions by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) that a new crescent would be sighted in Kaduna before sunset on June 5 and that Ramadan fast would automatically begin on June 6.
A joint statement by the council’s technical advisers Sheikhs Habeebullah Adam el-ilory, Abdul-Rasaq Ishola, Majolagbe Monsuru and the Chief Imam of Lagos Sheikh Ibrahim Garuba Akinola said NASRDA’s position has no basis in Islamic jurisprudence as crescent could only be sighted after sunset.
The council added that going by astronomical calculations available to them, nowhere in Nigeria will experience sunset by the time stated by NASRDA.
“NASDR released a statement claiming the Astronomical Lunar Crescent would appear in Kaduna and Sokoto on June 5th between 5:12 PM and 7:14 P.M and 7:37pm and in other 34 States of the federation between 5:12pm and 7:37 pm via Charge Coupled Device(CCD). This implies that Ramadan starts on 6th June 2016,” the council stated in a statement.
“Crescent sighting valid for starting the month of Ramadan should be after sunset according to Islamic sharia and consensus of Ulama-Islamic Scholars. Therefore claiming sighting of the new crescent with CCD (charge coupled device, as used by NASRDA) before the sunset is not valid for starting Ramadan,” the council added.
The scholars quoted famous Muslim astronomers Egnr Mohammad Odeh and Khalid Shaukat as saying that conjunction will only occur at 4:00a.m. on 5th June 2016 Nigerian Time with the age of the moon – that is, the hours between the Conjunction and sunset on 5th – being 15hrs only.
The council addded: “Statement that crescent will appear on 5th June between 5:12pm and 7:14 pm is capable of misleading Nigeria Muslims to commence Ramadan Fast earlier. Moreover because NASRDA does not apply Islamic sharia parameters on its findings, NASRDA does not have the knowledge of Islamic Sharia to interpret its astronomical knowledge in favor of Islam and has no authority whatsoever to guide the Muslim Ummah as regard the beginning or ending of Ramadan.”