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Moon sighting expert Aleem Abedin Basher explained that they were not able to see the first crescent of the moon because of the clouds.

The moon which marks the beginning of the holy month of Ramzan was sighted in Delhi, Chennai and Surat Wednesday night, according to reports.

Along with fasting on a daily basis, members of AMCC will give to charity and do community service as part of the holy month.

Eight in ten Muslims admit to fasting in Ramzan, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center.

"I also urged them to rededicate themselves to the teaching of Islam and continue to live in peace with one another irrespective of religious differences".

Sa'ad Abubakar, sultan of Sokoto, says the Muslim Ramadan fast will commence on Thursday.

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"It is meant to inculcate righteousness and discipline", he said.

Urging Muslims to fervently pray for Nigeria, the governor said: "this period in our nation calls for our collective and individual prayers for the fulfillment of our aspirations and desires as a country and as citizens".

Last minute preparations are underway as Muslims around the world stocked up on groceries and dates Wednesday for evening meals to break dawn-to-dusk fasting during the month of Ramadan.

Ramzan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset and join mass prayers at mosques.

Muslims, estimated at more than 1.6 billion in 2010 worldwide, observe fasting with intensified prayers and religious rituals in varying degrees depending on the environment prevailing in their locations.


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