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Nigerian Islamic Police Arrest Non-Fasting Muslims in Kano During Ramadan

In a recent development, the Islamic police in Nigeria’s northern state of Kano detained 11 Muslims on Tuesday for consuming food during the fasting hours of Ramadan.

Kano, with a predominantly Muslim population, operates under a dual legal system of Sharia alongside secular law. The Islamic police, known as Hisbah, routinely conduct inspections of eateries and markets during Ramadan.

According to Hisbah spokesman Lawal Fagge, the 10 men and one woman were apprehended after being observed eating, with one woman seen consuming food from her merchandise. Fagge stated to the BBC, “The other 10 were men and were arrested across the city especially close to markets where a lot of activities happen.”

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However, Fagge clarified that non-Muslims are exempt from these enforcement measures, except when they are found to be preparing food for Muslims who are fasting.

Following their arrest, the detainees were released after pledging not to miss fasting deliberately again. Fagge mentioned, “For some of them we had to see their relatives or guardians in order to have family monitor them.”

Sharia was introduced over two decades ago to coexist with secular law in 12 of Nigeria’s northern states, all of which have a Muslim majority.

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Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, holds significant importance in Islam. It is believed to be the month when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad. Fasting during daylight hours is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which delineate the fundamental practices of the faith.

This year, Ramadan is anticipated to span 30 days, commencing on Monday, March 11, and concluding on Tuesday, April 9, with Muslims worldwide observing fasting rituals as part of their religious devotion.

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