The Jama'atu Nasril Islamn (JNI) has called on Islamic clerics to use the impending Ramadan fasting period to preach peace and unity and desist from provocative and misleading preaching.
The Islamic body made the statement in a communiqué issued after a 3-day national conference on moon sighting in Nigeria, which held at the auditorium of the National mosque in Abuja.
It also added that as an essential tool for observing Islamic events and activities, moon sighting is meant to be in conformity with the rich cultural heritage of the great religion of Allah, and that science and technology can be used to aid moon-sighting.
The national conference was organized by Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto in collaboration with Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Sokoto entitled "The Challenges of Moon-sighting in Nigeria: The Way Forward".
The communiqué at the end of the conference says that only physical sighting of the moon should be used in establishing the commencement of the lunar months, e.g., Ramadan, adding that this view is closer to adhering to the Shari'ah as well as Qur'an and Sunnah.
At the conference, it was agreed that physical sighting of the moon should be the basis of establishing the lunar months but scientific projection, tools or devices can be employed as a guide. Physical sighting should be rejected if scientific projection suggests that the moon could not be sighted, the participants said.
The communiqué which was signed by the chairman, LOC, Prof. S. W. Junaid, and secretary-general, JNI, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, said the consensus was that physical sighting of the moon for the commencement and termination of Ramadan fasting and other Islamic events should be in conformity with the Qur'an and Sunnah.
The conference was graciously attended by dignitaries including Vice President Namadi Sambo, and the Sultan of Sokoto and president-general, JNI, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs His Eminence Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar III.
Also in attendance were the representatives of the speaker, House of Representatives Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, the governors of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States, the vice chancellor, Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, royal fathers, Ulamas and Muslim scholars.