India announces Ramadan crescent moon not sighted, Ramadan to start Friday

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Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, an organization of Indian Muslim scholars, announced that the Ramadan crescent moon was not sighted anywhere in India, and Muslims in the country will begin to fast on Friday.

“The Ramadan crescent moon was not sighted in India on Wednesday evening; hence the holy month of Ramadan will officially begin on Friday [March 24],” the organization said on Twitter.

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Lucknow's Markazi Chand Committee (moon sighting committee) also announced that Ramadan will start on Friday, Indian news agency ANI reported.

With the Hindu festival of Navratri currently being celebrated, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali urged the Muslim community to take care of the religious sentiments of one another, according to ANI.

“I urge brothers and sisters to observe Roza (fast) for the welfare, prosperity and progress of the country along with their family members. The Islamic Centre of India has also issued a guideline for people who would observe Roza this month. All religious sentiments should be respected,” he told ANI.

The Muslim community comprises 13 percent of India’s 1.35 billion population.

The start of Ramadan, the holiest in the Muslim calendar, requires Muslims who are physically able to fast from sunrise to sunset every day of the month.

During Ramadan, Muslims the world over join their families to break the fast at sunset and go to mosques to pray.

In the Arab world, Saudi Arabia and the UAE announced the sighting of the Ramadan crescent and declared that the first day of Ramadan will be on Thursday, March 23.

With Reuters.

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