Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Saudi Arabia announces start of Ramadan

Saudi Arabia announces start of Ramadan

Today, May 15, is the start date for the holiest of months in the Islamic calendar - Ramadan.

The Central Moon Sighting Committees in India Pakistan and Bangladesh have issued appeals to Muslims in their respective countries to sight the crescent, Ramadan Moon or Ramzan Chand, Wednesday May 16, 2018 corresponding to 29th Shaban 1439.

It's thought to have occurred on an odd-numbered night time over the past 10 days of Ramadan - the 21, 23, 25, 27 or 29th.

Oman was the first country in the Gulf to announce when it will mark the beginning of Ramadan.

The announcement was made by the Grand Mufti of Australia, Abdul Azim Al Afifi on the council's official Facebook page.

Millions around the world will begin the fasting month of Ramadan on Thursday, according to religious leaders in various Muslim-majority states. The the meal before dawn is known as Suhoor and the meal after the dusk when the fast is broken is known as Iftar.

The Arab states did not sight the moon after which the Arab media had said that the Holy month would commence from 17th of May.

During Ramadan, Muslims have to abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to sunset. "Over the coming month, people will gather in mosques and homes to pray, fast during the daytime and in the evening break their fast and enjoy iftars together".

To wish someone on Ramadan one says "Ramadan Kareem" which means "Have a Generous Ramadan" or simply "Ramadan Mubarak" meaning "Happy Ramadan".

The objective of the fast is to remind the suffering of the less fortunate and to bring the followers closer to God.

Many pilgrims from around the world travel to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah for Umrah during Ramadan. The month-long fasting ends with Id-ul-Fitr, celebrated in the Muslim community.

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 respective locations.

Mumbai: The ninth month in the Islamic calendar is considered holy.

After that, the standard follow is to adjourn for prayer after which the primary meal is served.

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