Nigeria: 11 Muslims arrested for eating during Ramadan fast

Francis Akhalbey March 18, 2024
Photo Credit: Salihu Aliyu

Eleven Muslims in the Nigerian state of Kano were arrested by the Islamic police for not observing the Ramadan fast as they were spotted eating food. Besides secular law, Kano, whose population is largely Muslim, practices Islamic law which is also known as Sharia.

According to BBC, eateries and markets are usually monitored by the Islamic police during the annual Ramadan fasting season. The individuals arrested by the state’s Islamic police – also known as Hisbah – included 10 men and a woman. They were eventually released after they swore an oath to observe the rules of the fast.

“We got 11 persons on Tuesday including a lady selling groundnuts who was seen eating from her wares and some persons alerted us,” Hisbah spokesman Lawal Fagge told the news outlet. “The other 10 were men and were arrested across the city especially close to markets where a lot of activities happen.”

He said the individuals arrested were released after they vowed to observe Ramadan, adding that “for some of them we had to see their relatives or guardians in order to have family monitor them”.

Fagge also said they would not stop conducting the search operations during Ramadan, though non-Muslims won’t be arrested. “We don’t arrest non-Muslims because this doesn’t concern them and the only time they could be guilty of a crime is when we find out they cook food to sell to Muslims that are supposed to be fasting,” he stated.

Following Nigeria’s return to democracy over 20 years ago, Kano and other predominantly Muslim states in the country’s north restored a harsh version of Sharia law. 

Muslims the world over observe the Holy Month of Ramadan every year. They fast, give alms, and pray to strengthen their faith. It is compulsory for all able-bodied Muslims to fast. Each region has its own culture and history deeply rooted in the observance of Ramadan.

Ramadan is observed yearly during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and it occurs within 30 days after the sighting of the new moon, which marks the month the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed in AD 610.

Although the basis for the observance of Ramadam around the world is the same, every region has its unique way of observing the Holy month. This year’s Ramadan in Nigeria started on Monday, March, 11. The fasting is expected to end on April 9. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 18, 2024


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