Muslims around the world are getting ready to welcome the holy month of Ramadan, which will be determined by the sighting of the moon. The moon sighting committee in the U.A.E. will meet today after Maghrib prayer to announce the date of the commencement of Ramadan which is most likely to fall on May 16 or May 17.
On Monday, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) urged all Muslims throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to keep a lookout for the crescent on Tuesday evening, Sha'ban 29, 1439H, which corresponds to May 15, 2018 in the Gregorian calendar. If the moon is sighted by Tuesday, Ramadan will officially begin by Wednesday, May 16. Otherwise the holy month will begin on Thursday, May 17.
The Supreme Court has urged those who have seen the moon either through naked eyes or through binoculars to report to the nearest court and register their testimony, or report to the authority of the region's center in their area where the crescent was sighted in order for the authority to inform the nearest court.
Earlier this week, Oman's Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs (MARA) announced that May 17 (Thursday) will be observed as the first day of the holy month of Ramadan in the Sultanate. In the announcement the committee also declared that Wednesday will be the 30th day of Sha'ban, 1439 Hijri.
While in Pakistan the holy month of Ramadan is expected to begin from May 17, according to Khalid Ejaz Mufti, Secretary-General of Ruet-e-Hilal Research Council (RHRC).
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and considered as the holiest month of the year by Muslims. It is observed as the month of fasting (Sawm) to celebrate the first revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad.
Muslims observing Ramadan refrain from eating or drinking before dawn through dusk. After sunset the fast is broken with an evening meal called ‘Iftar’, often starting with few sips of water and handful of sweets or dates.