Boluwatife Adedokun 

Following the declaration by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, that Eid-el-Fitr would be observed on Wednesday, Sheikh Musa Lukwa, a Muslim cleric based in Sokoto, led his followers in Eid prayers at his Juma’at mosque around 8:30 am on Tuesday morning.

The Sultan’s decision was based on reports from the National Moon Sighting Committees nationwide, confirming the non-sighting of the new moon. 

Justifying his actions, Sheikh Lukwa pointed out that the moon of Shawwal had been sighted in neighboring Niger Republic on Monday, hence his decision to hold the prayers a day earlier.

In response to the unfolding events surrounding Sheikh Musa Lukwa’s decision to lead Eid prayers on Tuesday, Facebook became a forum for a diverse array of opinions and reactions from users across Nigeria.

Jerry Emma emphasized the importance of tolerance, stating, “In this life for peace to be achieved people must learn tolerance. Even if we are all of the same tribe and religion differences must arise.”

Also, Daniel Udoh questioned the reliance on moon sighting, suggesting that unforeseen circumstances could delay the appearance of the moon, stating, “Forget about sighting the moon…how many days is the fasting supposed to be… What about if the moon by unforeseen circumstances is delayed.”

While a user, Yahaya Yunusa defended Sheikh Lukwa’s actions, citing Islamic law’s requirement to physically sight the moon before prayers and emphasizing the individual’s relationship with Allah, saying, “For me there is no issues to drag on in Islam law we have to see moon before pray he did not heard from anyone that he sighted moon this one is between him and almighty Allah.”

Moreover, BigSam humorously commented on the shift away from relying on Saudi Arabia’s moon sighting announcements, stating, “So some Naija Muslim no dey wait for Saudi Arabia again… Chai, what a beautiful picture of sheikh musa and his bodyguard.”

In his own response to the action, Taheer Yahaya criticized the inconsistency in Sheikh Lukwa’s actions, questioning why Eid prayers were conducted if the moon wasn’t sighted the previous day, saying, “Some Imam can run faster than their shadows! If the moon was not sighted yesterday then why is he leading Eid’l prayer?”

Dickson Balami thereby speculated on the potential motives behind Sheikh Lukwa’s decision, suggesting a challenge to authority if the larger Muslim community had prayed on Wednesday instead, stating, “If the larger Muslim would have prayed today he would have shifted to tomorrow just to challenge the authority.”


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