Muhammadu Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto and president-general of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), has declared Wednesday as the first day of Sha’aban 1444AH.
Yahaya Boyi, secretary of the moon sighting committee, announced the development in a statement on Tuesday.
“Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. Assalamu Alaikum. The Sultanate Council Sokoto has declared tomorrow Wednesday 22/2/2023 as the first day of Sha’aban 1444 AH,” the statement reads.
Sha’aban is the eighth month of the Islamic calendar that comes before the month of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast for a period of 29 or 30 days.
Meanwhile, Ash Wednesday also falls on February 22.
Ash Wednesday is usually marked by Christians, especially those of the Catholic faith.
The day features a mass, and the highlight is the marking of the foreheads with ash as a reminder of the human mortality and the need for reconciliation with God.
Ash Wednesday also marks the beginning of the Lenten season during which Christians fast until the Easter period, which signifies the time of Christ’s resurrection from the dead as taught in the Bible.