Islamic Police in Kano Arrest Non-Fasting Muslims During Ramadan

The Islamic police in Nigeria’s Kano state apprehended 11 Muslims on Tuesday for breaking the Ramadan fast by consuming food. Kano, predominantly Muslim, operates under Sharia law alongside secular regulations.

Annually during Ramadan, the Islamic police, known as Hisbah, conduct searches in eateries and markets. Detainees, 10 men, and one woman, were released after pledging not to deliberately skip fasting again. Lawal Fagge, Hisbah’s spokesperson, mentioned arrests near bustling markets following reports from vigilant individuals. Non-Muslims are excluded from arrest unless found selling food to fasting Muslims. Released individuals promised fasting adherence, with some needing supervision from relatives or guardians.

Over two decades ago, Sharia was introduced alongside secular law in 12 northern Nigerian states with Muslim-majority populations. Ramadan holds significant importance in Islam, believed to be the month when the first Quranic verses were revealed to Prophet Muhammad. Fasting during daylight hours is one of Islam’s Five Pillars, observed throughout Ramadan.

This year’s Ramadan, projected from March 11 to April 9, is expected to last 30 days. However, fasts are not solely physical; they encompass spiritual growth, self-discipline, and empathy for the less fortunate. Hisbah’s actions reflect Kano’s commitment to Sharia observance and underline the societal expectation of fasting adherence. Such measures aim to maintain the religious sanctity of Ramadan and foster community solidarity.

As Muslims worldwide embark on this sacred journey, the arrests in Kano serve as a reminder of the religious significance attached to fasting during Ramadan and the societal expectations surrounding it.