Sunday first day of Ramadan: Saudi Arabia
The decision comes after failure to sight the new moon of Ramadan on Friday
Saudi Arabia has announced that the first day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan will be Sunday June 29 after the new crescent moon was not able to be seen on Friday.
According to Saudi tradition, it is the sighting with the naked eye of the new moon that signals the start of Ramadan.
Other Arab and Islamic countries also announced that Ramadan will start on Sunday. These include Tunisia, Algeria and Libya, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Palestine, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Yemen is the only country in the region that declared Saturday as the first day of Ramadan.
Khaled al-Zaaq, member of the Arab Union for Space Sciences and Astronomy, had said that “it will simply not be possible to sight the crescent on Friday because on that day the moon will completely disappear from the skies before sunset.”
Zaaq, who is also a member of the Islamic project to sight the moon, said in most regions of the Kingdom, the moon will disappear on Friday before sunset.
Ramadan is sacred to Muslims because it is during that month that that Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast from food from dawn to dusk and strive to be more pious and charitable. They are also required to abstain from drinking liquids, smoking and having sex.
The fast is one of the five main religious obligations under Islam.
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