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Thursday May 30, 2024

KSA announces Ramazan to start tomorrow

Moon not sighted in Saudi Arabia; first of Ramadan on Thursday

By AFP
March 22, 2023
A man uses binoculars to spot the first crescent moon, marking the start of Ramadan, in the southwestern Saudi city of Taif in April last year. — AFP
A man uses binoculars to spot the first crescent moon, marking the start of Ramadan, in the southwestern Saudi city of Taif in April last year. — AFP

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, home of the holiest shrines in Islam in Makkah and Medina, has announced that the fasting month of Ramazan will start on Thursday.

The kingdom’s supreme court ruled on Tuesday evening that the Islamic calendar month of Shaban, which precedes Ramazan, will end on Wednesday, meaning Ramazan will begin the following day, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

Authorities earlier on Tuesday called on residents to try to spot the crescent moon that marks the start of Ramazan, but it was not visible, state media said. The official Crescent Sighting Committee in neighbouring Qatar also announced that Thursday “is the first day of the blessed month of Ramazan”, the official Qatar News Agency said on Twitter.

Fasting is strictly observed in Saudi Arabia, with restaurants closed until sunset iftar meals.

It is also a time of prayers, with the faithful converging in large numbers at mosques, especially at night.

The starting date of Ramazan, the holiest Muslim month, is set by both lunar calculations and physical sightings to determine the beginning of a new month.