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Ramadan to begin on Thursday in Saudi Arabia, Qatar


Authorities in several Muslim-majority countries, including Saudi Arabia, are declaring Thursday as the first day of Ramadan.

The holy month of Ramadan will start on Thursday, the authorities in Qatar and Saudi Arabia have announced on the basis of expectations observation of the crescent moon.

Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court on Tuesday night declared Wednesday to be the last day of the Islamic calendar month of Shaban, which precedes Ramadan, meaning the Islamic holy month begins the following day, the official Saudi news agency reported.

Ramadan is determined by the Islamic lunar calendar, which begins with the first sight of the moon.

Officials in the Palestinian territories and in Egypt also announced that Ramadan would begin on Thursday.

Meanwhile, authorities in Jordan, Algeria and Morocco said they will wait until Wednesday to decide whether to start Ramadan on Thursday or Friday.

Muslims believe that Ramadan is the month in which the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad over 1400 years ago.

Throughout the month, observing Muslims fast from just before the sunrise prayer, Fajr, to the sunset prayer, Maghrib.

Fasting involves abstinence from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual relations in order to attain greater “taqwa” or awareness of God.

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with the Islamic creed, daily prayers, charity and performing the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca – the site of Islam’s holiest shrine, the Kaaba – if this is physically possible and financially possible.

In many Muslim-majority countries, working hours are reduced and most restaurants are closed during Lent.

Several Muslim-majority countries have a personalized greeting in their mother tongue. “Ramadan Mubarak” and “Ramadan Kareem” are common greetings exchanged during this period, wishing the recipient a blessed and generous month respectively.

Last year, fasting around the world ranged from 10 to 20 hours a day.

At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr. In Arabic it means “feast of breaking the fast”.

Depending on the sighting of the new moon, Eid al-Fitr is likely to fall on April 21 this year.


Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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