An Islamic scholar offers major insight into the Holy month of Ramadan.
He shared his thoughts, which were backed with the Quran, in Abuja at a pre-Ramadan lecture on "Muslims and Nation Building" organized jointly by Organisation of Tadhamunul Muslimeen (OTM) and The Muslim Congress (TMC), Daily Trust reports.
According to the Islamic scholar, fasting during the Holy Month is unlike the fasting done at any other time. In fact, he described it as "unique."
In his words, "Fasting is a unique Ibadaah (act of worship) that involves 13 to 14 hours of attachment to Allah. Allah says fasting is for Me and I will give rewards for it. So, every Muslim will wake up and keep vigil during Ramadan. People read Qur'an and meditate over its meaning. Servants of Allah seek repentance from all sins and vices."
The cleric, who is the Chief Imam of Al-Haramain Central Mosque, Ibadan, also discussed the significance of the entire Holy month. He urged Muslims to prepare for it in order to do it properly and reap its spiritual benefits.
He said, "We should, therefore, prepare ourselves physically for this month. One of the best forms of preparation for Ramadan is to clean ourselves inwardly and outwardly because it is not all those who fast that will get their reward in full. Our tongues must fast with us by watching speeches that we make. Your gaze must also fast by watching what you look at.
"You must ensure that you do various forms of Ibaadah. All things being equal, we must engage in Ramadan to reform ourselves and society in order to build our nation. In Ramadan, Muslims' souls will be freed. People will change their lifestyle positively. It is the month of laylatul qodr - a night said to be better than a thousand months.
"It is also the month of dua (supplication). In Ramadan, Allah is close to us because we are also close to Him. We shun evils in spite of the fact that our society is permeated by atrocities, vices, and troubles. People discipline themselves for Allah. They endure the temptations. Surely, the reward of endurance in Paradise."
The Holy Month is expected to start on Thursday, May 17, 2018.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), is calling on Muslims to look out for the moon that ushers in the 1439 A.H Ramadan fast.
In a statement signed by Prof. Salisu Shehu, Deputy Secretary-General of the Muslim body, the sultan said: "Following the advice of the National Moon Sighting Committee, NMSC, the President-General enjoins the Nigerian Muslim Ummah to search for the crescent of Ramadan 1439 AH immediately after sunset on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 equivalent to 29th Sha'aban 1439 AH.
"If the crescent is sighted by Muslims of impeccable character on the said evening, His Eminence would declare Thursday, May 17, 2017, as the first day of Ramadan. If, however, the crescent is not sighted that day, then, Friday, May 18, 2018, automatically becomes the first of Ramadan, 1439 AH."
Once the crescent is seen, the world's 1.6 billion Muslims will embark on a month of fasting, prayer, charity and everything it takes to devote themselves to God.