KARACHI: The first fast in Pakistan is likely to be observed on Thursday, March 23, with the Ruet-e-Hilal committee scheduled to meet on the 29th of Shaban (March 22).
Chief Meteorologist Sardar Sarfaraz told TheNews.com that the chances of the holy month of Ramadan falling on March 23 were high, therefore, first fast was likely to be observed on Thursday.
However, he said that the sky should remain clear so that the moon can be easily sighted.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said Friday that rainfall is expected to start from the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.
According to the Met department, the country is likely to witness rain in the last days of March. However, the second and the last Ashra of Ramadan is expected to remain relatively hot.
Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, too, the first day of Ramadan is expected to fall on March 23.
According to the report from an Arab media outlet, Dr Abdullah Al-Massand, a former professor of astronomy at Al-Qassim University in Saudi Arabia and deputy chairman of the Meteorological Society, said that the first day of Ramadan is expected to be observed on March 23.
Dr Massand was of the view that the holy month of Shaban will have 30 days because, on the 29th of Shaban, the "crescent will be lightening just before nine minutes after the sunset".
He also said that the convergence of the sun and the moon will be taking place on the 29th of Shaban which means on the evening of March 21 at 8:23pm. Therefore, he added, the first day of Ramadan will be observed on March 23.
Prior to this, Ibrahim Al-Jarwan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Astronomy Society, had also forecast that the first day of the holy month would likely be observed on March 23 with Eid ul Fitr likely taking place on April 21.
According to the Saudi government, after the sunset of March 21, the sighting of the moon for the holy month will begin.
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