"It is usual with the hierarchy of JNI to always make sound and durable preparations for the commencement of the month of Ramadan, from organizing for the sighting of the crescent moon of Ramadan to the pre-Ramadan meeting etc,” Khalid Aliyu Abubakar, Secretary-General of the Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI), told All-Africa website on Friday, July 6.
"There will be presentation of papers by Muslim scholars who will examine the jurisprudence of how moon sighting is done in Islam, and this is for the purpose of avoiding what happened last year.”
Ramadan is the holiest month in Islamic calendar. According to astronomical calculations, the holy fasting month of Ramwadan will start on Friday, July 20.
The first day of Ramadan and moon sighting have always been a controversial issue among Muslim countries, and even scholars seem at odds over the issue.
While one group of scholars sees that Muslims in other regions and countries are to follow the same moon sighting as long as these countries share one part of the night, another states that Muslims everywhere should abide by the lunar calendar of Saudi Arabia.
A third, however, disputes both views, arguing that the authority in charge of ascertaining the sighting of the moon in a given country announces the sighting of the new moon, then Muslims in the country should all abide by this.